Nigeria: Transport fares rise as fuel scarcity persists

*Fuel-queue.

*Fuel-queue.

05 March 2016, Lagos — Transport fares within some state capitals across the country have increased as a result of the scarcity of petrol, Daily Trust survey has shown.

While rates increased by as much as 10 percent in some states, others recorded over 25 percent increase, the survey also showed.

In Abuja, transport fares soared by as much as 25 percent within some designated routes.

For instance, charges from Utako/Jabi to Mararaba which used to be between N150 and N200 jumped to between N250 and N300, depending on the time and type of vehicle available.

Also, taxicabs plying the city centre have cashed in on the scarcity to hike their charges. A taxi drop from Utako to Central Area which used to be between N300 and N350 has increased to about N500, depending on the bargaining power of the passenger.

However, the same survey also revealed that fares within some other routes in the city remained unchanged. For example, a trip from Berger to Lugbe which used to be N100 remained the same. Bwari to Berger also remained N200 just as the fare from Dutse to Berger stayed at N100.

The long queues that dotted fuel stations in Lagos, yesterday, continued unabated as the product was still beyond the reach of most consumers in the state.

Already, the development has started taking its toll on transport fares in the state as operators jerked up fares by 10 per cent to mitigate the hardships they encountered before buying fuel.

Our correspondent gathered that many filling stations in the state were shut due to supply hitches. But private and commercial motorists alleged that marketers hoarded the fuel in order to sell on the high side.

In Ilorin and its environs, transport fares still remained the same as commuters get petrol at the regulated price, our correspondent gathered.

A visit to some of the motor parks within the state capital showed that many commuters charged the same transport fares as they were before the scarcity.

However, few of them who added between N200 to N500 told our correspondent that they bought the fuel outside Ilorin at a higher price.

Meanwhile, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) said it took measures to ensure that the long fuel queues currently being witnessed in major states in the country end by the weekend.

Giving some insight into the measures it took, the Managing Director of the PPMC, Esther Nnamdi Ogbue, said: “On Wednesday alone, over 1,000 trucks were loaded and trucked out by the majors and PPMC. We have about 400 intervention trucks being used right now so that we can service marketers that we need to ensure fuel supply in their filling stations, especially in Abuja and Lagos, where they consume about 60 percent of daily national consumption figures.”

Ogbue added that fuel trucks load from Port Harcourt, Warri, Ogarra and Calabar, other than Lagos, were ongoing.
*Daniel Adugbo, Romoke W. Ahmad & Omobayo Azeez – Daily Trust

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