31 May 2015, Lome – While Nigerians have had to go without fuel, some of the country’s petrol is being sold in Togo.
Illegal traders are smuggling it via the sea to Togo’s border with Benin to Nigeria’s west, and are making huge profits.
Those selling the fuel in Togo, who on a good day can make $40, say it is the only thing they can do to survive.
Al Jazeera’s Ama Boateng, reporting from Lome, Togo’s capital, says buyers insist it is cheaper than using a fuel station and more convenient.
Even though it is illegal, the fuel is being sold in the open along roadsides.
Emmanuel Sogadji, president of the Consumers’ Association of Togo, says the government needs to build more fuel stations or regulate the sellers so that they could operate safely and pay tax.
“From Lome to the border Aneho, there are no fuel stations,” Sogadji says.
“If a car runs out of fuel the driver must push his vehicle to the border town before refuelling. This is why along the roadside you will find people selling prohibited fuel. Go to some districts and villages in the interior of the country and you won’t see a fuel station at all.”
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*African Media Agency.