Fuel scarcity has hit Damaturu, with a litre of petrol and kerosene selling at N125 and N200 respectively on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that only the NNPC mega station was selling petrol to a long queue of vehicles, while the stations operated by major and independent marketers remained closed with â€˜no fuelâ€ signs displayed.
Filling station owners could not give reasons for the scarcity, which is believed to be artificial.
The scarcity is widely believed to be in anticipation of the much speculated Nov. 1 dateline for the deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector by the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, petrol vendors are making brisk business, selling in gallons and jerry cans, even right in front of the closed petrol stations.
Although fares have remained unchanged, commercial motorists and motorcyclists have expressed fears that if the situation persists, they will be forced to review their rates in view of â€œthe realities on groundâ€.
Malam Habibu Usman, a commercial driver in transit from Kaduna, said: â€œTransport fares may be increased with the attendant effect on prices of goods and services.
â€œI assure you, there will be a gross decline in peopleâ€™s movements and an increase in the prices of goods and services.â€
A civil servant, Maina Wakil, also told NAN: â€œI could not take my children to school today because I had no fuel; so they had to go on â€œokadaâ€ in spite of the risk involved.
â€œWe largely depend on the generator for electricity, but I cannot buy a litre at N125 and above forÂ my car and the generator.â€
Meanwhile, residents in the metropolis pay as much as N200 for a litre of kerosene, as the rate of tree felling for wood fuel has increased in the desert-prone state.