Port Harcourt — Fuel scarcity is biting harder in Port Harcourt, as most filling stations are shut, while the few that are dispensing products are witnessing long queues, as fuel is now sold between N180 to N200 per litre.
Most filling stations along Olu-Obasanjo Road, Ikwerre Road, Choba, Airport Road and Aba Road are not open for business, as they have probably run out of stock.
It would be recalled that SweetCrudeReports yesterday, reported that out of 18 depots in Rivers state, only one had products, which is not sufficient to service over 700 marketers in the state, according to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN.
The fuel scarcity has led to an increment in transport fare within the city, as hitherto N100 fare from Airforce junction to Rukpokwu is now 150, while Rumuokoro to Mile III which was N150 before is now N200, while NTA to location is now N100, from previously N50.
Commercial motorists who spoke to our correspondent expressed displeasure at the return of fuel queues to filling stations.
One of them said, “I don’t understand what is happening in Nigeria, I thought we have grown past this issue of long queues in fuel stations. We have the natural resources we cannot refine, we import the finished product at the expense of the Nigerian populace.
Another one said, “We have money to buy product now but no product. If you see people waiting in some stations they are still selling at the original price, while some are closed. some also have started to increase the price to N180 per liter.”
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Product Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, has explained that the recent queues in petrol stations in Port Harcourt was as a result of the bad petrol imported into the country last month.
Chairman of PETROAN, Port Harcourt Zone, Prince Sunny Mkpe, lamented that his members were already incurring expenses by replacing client’s car parts which the bad petrol has damaged.
Mkpe said PETROAN members are now restocking clean petrol at above the ex-depot price and may end up retailing at above normal pump price so as to prevent any scarcity.
He frowned at the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission for sealing off petrol stations over pump price, instead of compelling the depots to sell at normal price.
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