04 January 2012, Sweetcrude, CALABAR – Petrol now sells for N250 per litre in some parts of Cross River State just as some motorists including bus and taxi drivers have decided to park their vehicles as a result of scarcity of fuel and high prize in some stations that have the product.
Also, some passengers who had gone to various parks in the state to board vehicle back to their various destinations after the Christmas and New Year holidays had to go back to their various homes as they could not afford the hike in the transportation fare after spending what they had during the festive period.
Most fillings stations in Calabar, the state capital, sell between N150 and N160.00 a litre while the NNPC Mega Stations sells for N138.00, with very long queue.
In Boki, in the central district of the state which is about 350 kilometres from Calabar, a litre of fuel sells for between N200.00 and N250, while in Ogoja, Yala, Obanliku, Obudu and Bekwarra Local Government Areas, which make up the Northern senatorial districts of the state and about 400 kilometers from Calabar, a litre sells for between N180 .00 and N200.
In Ugep, about 100 kilometres from Calabar, a litre sells for N200, while transportation fare in the state has gone up astronomically, making it difficult for most passengers to afford.
A legal practitioner, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, said a motor park that operates close to his compound in Ugep on Monday collected N19,000 from passengers from Ugep to Lagos against the usual fare of N4,000, while those that travelled to Onitsha, Anambra state paid N15,000 against the previous fare of N3,500.
The fare from Ogoja to Abuja that used to be N1,500 rose to N5000, while Calabar to Ogoja increased from N1,800 to N4,000.
Meanwhile, most streets in Calabar are bereft of the usual high traffic and regular hold-up which have become characteristic of the city since the ban on the commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called okada, in 2009.
Since Sunday when the new fuel price regime came in effect, most motorists have parked their vehicles, while the few on the road have braced up to face the new fuel prices.
“I cannot afford to drive the car now because the cost of fuel has become too high and my car consumes fuel much,” Fidel Ogar, a Calabar resident who drives a Mercedes benz car, told this reporter.