April 22, 2024

A’ Ibom residents lament over scarcity, hike in petrol pump price

A’ Ibom residents lament over scarcity, hike in petrol pump price

..As gov Eno promises to address situation soon

By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

AMID growing concern over current economic hardship, Akwa Ibom residents, particularly motorists have lamented the scarcity and increase in the pump price of petrol products by Independent marketers in the state.

Fuel stations owners now sell between  N730 and N800 per liter as against N650 and N670 per litre they have been dispensing the product before last week.

 Many filling stations in Uyo, the state capital were shut since Sunday, causing commercial Bus drivers and tricycle operators to hike transportation fare by 50per cent.

 Some mini bus operators disclosed that on Sunday they bought the product at N900 and N1000 per litre at the black market when they observed that all the filling stations were shut.

Many passengers were seen along some major streets of Uyo between 9am and 10am on Monday stranded due to their inability to pay transport fare to their different destinations.

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A woman and public servant who identified herself as Mrs. Uduak lamented, “I have been standing here at Itam junction waiting for a Mini bus that will take me straight to Oron road. I believe it will be cheaper because if I board a bus from here to Plaza at N200 and then join another one to Oron road I will not have  money left to come back

“I budgeted N600,00 to go to work today, but I didn’t know that the fuel price will affect the transport fare. If the situation did not change by tomorrow (Tuesday) it means I will not be able to go to work tomorrow.”

 Newsmen gathered yesterday that the  development in the state  followed a notice by the leadership of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Niger (IPMAN), Akwa Ibom State branch directing its members to withdraw their services from the public with effect from Monday, 22nd April.

The IPMAN’s trending circular dated April 19, 2024 reads, “In line with the stakeholders decision taken recently for infractions into our business caused by the activities  of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association (NOGASA) where members’ products were impounded on the road and extorted.”

“You are by this notice required to close your stations/outlets from the public from Monday 22nd April till further notice. Any non-compliance shall attract a fine of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000) which shall be enforced”

But reacting, Chairman of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association Of Nigeria (PETROAN) in Akwa Ibom, Udeme Esset urged the public to disregard the threat while its members should go about their businesses.

Esset said the association would release their enforcement team from today  (Monday) “to monitor the operations of the retail outlets and report to the (Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority)”

Vanguard observed long queues at some filling stations along Ikot Ekpene Road dispensing petrol from about 11am while others remained shut.