Calabar – Commuters in Cross River on Tuesday had a hectic time getting to their destinations, following acute fuel scarcity in Calabar, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Many commuters waited endlessly to board commercial vehicles to their various destinations, while some others trekked long distances.
NAN also reports that there were long queues in very few filling stations where the product was available.
Petrol now sells for between N120 and N150 per litre in the filling stations, while black marketers sell for between N200 and N300 per litre.
A commuter, Mrs Anne Eteng who is a teacher, said she trekked a distance of five kilometres to reach her school.
“I came out to board taxi as usual but I stayed for more than two hours waiting for taxi until I decided to trek, “ she said.
Mr David Ugbeh, a public servant, said he paid N200 to a taxi driver.
“I paid N200 to get to the office instead of the normal N50, and this was after much struggle, “ he said.
Also, motorists in the state have expressed their worries over the scarcity and high cost of the product.
Some of the motorists told NAN that the situation was gradually posing some difficulties on their daily schedules.
A taxi driver, Mr Effiong Abasi, expressed concern over the situation, stressing that it would affect his daily remittance to the owner of his vehicle.
“This taxi is not my own.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
“I collected it on higher purchase and with the current situation I am afraid if I can be able to pay the owner the agreed amount of N5, 000 per day.
“I use to buy a litre of petrol for N87, but today I bought four litres for N1,000 from black marketers and this will not yield much profit for me, “ he said.
Another motorist, Mr Larry Asu, said he might be forced to park his car if the situation continued.
“I have more important things to do than to go about searching for petrol, “ Asu said.
Also, a long distance driver, Mr Peter Umoh, who plies Calabar – Uyo road on a daily basis, says he has parked his vehicle due to the scarcity.
Umoh said he used to charge N600 from Calabar to Uyo, but due to petrol scarcity and increase in price, it had risen to N800 and passengers were not willing to pay.
“I have decided to park my bus at home; passengers are grumbling with the new price of N800 and I cannot buy a litre of petrol for N150 and accept the fair of N600.
“If I do this, I will be running at a loss and I have a family to take care of, “ he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Robert Obi, Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Calabar depot, told NAN that the association had withdrawn its services till further notice.
Obi said that the action was in protest over poor road network in the state which had caused hardship on his members and their investments.
“The truth is that we have decided to suspend our services because of the deplorable condition of our roads.
“Our marketers are losing their hard earned resources and we cannot continue that way.
“We want government’s intervention; at least to patch the bad portions of the roads and unless this is done, we will remain at home.
“We have fuel in the depot but we will not sell, “ he said.
He lamented that their trucks now spent three days from Calabar to Ogoja, adding that was a journey that would not have ordinarily taken some hours.
According to him, the action becomes necessary in order to draw the attention of the government both at the state and federal levels to their plight and other commuters.(NAN)