By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka— MOST filling stations in Anambra State have run out of petroleum products, with the few that had Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, selling at N240 per litre.
None of the NNPC mega stations and the multi-national companies that dot parts of the state had fuel and the few independent marketers were just selling based on their mood at any point in time.
Some of the stations started the day with N160 per litre and by 2p.m., it went up to N240.
The development has virtually grounded business activities in the state as many people stayed at home due to a hike in fares.
For instance, commercial motorcycles operating in the cities have started charging N200 per drop, instead of the previous fare of N50, while the fare for tri-cycles, popularly known as KEKE NAPEP, has increased from N30 per drop to N100 in Awka.
Even the few filling stations that had fuel still experienced long queues, with black market operators swarming the stations with jerry cans and were prepared to buy at any price.
Major markets in the state were not as full as they used to be because many people found it difficult to transport themselves to their places of business.
Similarly, many bank customers were stranded as they could not withdraw cash due to the break-down of the system.
According to a staff of one of the banks, the system was shut from the head office because of lack of diesel to run generating plants.
A customer of one of the banks who went to transfer money to another branch in Lagos for the purchase of goods, said he was unable to make the transfer because of the system shut-down.