– Transport fares skyrocket
Port Harcourt — Fuel scarcity has again resurfaced in the oil rich Port Harcourt and environs, five months after the nationwide scarcity caused by importation of adulterated fuel by the government.
Checks by our correspondent reveal that most filling stations in Aba Road, Ikwerre Road and Airport Road are under lock, while few stations are selling product at over N250 per litre.
As a result, transport fare within the city has skyrocketed by 50percent, as a distance previously charged N100 by commercial vehicle drivers, is now N150.
The fuel scarcity is caused by the refusal of Petrol Tanker Drivers, a branch of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, to load products at the depot, in a protest against incessant harassment by security agents.
Speaking on the development, the National Treasurer of NUPENG, Comrade Alex Agwangwor, said petrol tanker drivers will not resume operations until security agents stop the harassment.
Agwangwor explained that NUPENG directed PTD to withdraw their services, as unidentified persons in company of armed security agents kept extorting money from tanker drivers at the depot.
“The challenge we have in the state now currently as a union is that tanker drivers under the PTD branch of NUPENG are being constantly harassed by security agents.
“In some cases, the tanker drivers are arrested on trump up charges, their products are forcefully taken from them.
“We have written to all the security agencies involved, including the Rivers State Government and honestly we cannot continue to work to service the state, when our members’ lives are in danger.
“Without this issue being addressed, I don’t think we will continue to load products in Rivers State.”
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