25 May 2015, Enugu – Residents in Enugu metropolis and rural areas have lamented the hardship occasioned by acute scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit,PMS, otherwise known as petrol.
Vanguard’s visit to the few filing stations that had the product showed that a litre sold for N210 as against the N87 approved pump price by the Federal Government.
The prevailing situation had made transport fares to increase by over 200 per cent as a journey which used to cost N50 from Abakpa to Old Park now costs N150,while most residents, especially women and children, were seen trekking long distances in the city.
As a result, prices of staple food items have increased by over 100 per cent due to the high cost of transportation to evacuate the farm produce to the city centre.
A basket of tomatoes which sold for N2,500, now sells for N4,500, while a quantity of crayfish which sold for N1,500 now costs N3,000.
The prevailing scarcity has heightened the activities of petrol black marketers who dispense fuel to stranded motorists at N300 per litre.
At Onu Asata axis of the metropolis where most filling stations in the area had no petrol, black marketers had a field day as motorists gnash their teeth over the scarcity.
Tahil Ochi, businessman, lamented that Federal Government’s promise to resolve the lingering fuel scarcity was yet to alleviate the situation.
He also regretted that the major marketers had continued to horde the product to create artificial scarcity.
He said: “The situation has become worrisome. Few days to the inception a new administration, we are experiencing acute fuel scarcity. It is now obvious that it is sabotage from the petrol marketers.
“Although government has said they have paid arrears of money owed them, the scarcity still persists.