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9 Dec 2017

Black Market Booms In Northern States as Fuel Scarcity Continues

Many Nigerians in the northern part of the country are lamenting following acute scarcity of the petrol at major filling stations.
Fuel scarcity in Nigeria (File photo)

Motorists in Kaduna, Bauchi and Yolanda are facing hard times buying petrol in chaotic situations following accute scarcity of the product.

Checks on filling stations in the states, particularly Kaduna metropolis and its environs, revealed that hundreds of motorists passed the night at the stations, complaining of mosquito bites.

Others who left vehicles on long queues, complained of battery theft overnight.

NAN reports that many petroleum marketers closed their stations, while the few ones operating in chaotic environment, sold at official pump price but were collecting extra cash from buyers.

Back marketers are having field days right at the stations, making brisk business as five litres of petrol is sold at N1,500.

A cross section of the motorists called on the Federal Government to act fast on the crisis to avoid the recurrence of 2016 experience.

“The 2016 fuel crisis was so terrible that we had to sleep for days in queues at filling stations just to get fuel,“ one of the motorists, Jawal Usha’u, told NAN in Kaduna.

The Administrative Manager, Mobil Filling Station, Ali Akilu Road, Kaduna, Malam Hussaini Isah, attributed the queues to panic due to speculations that there would be scarcity.

“Because of the ongoing rumour that there will be scarcity, motorists are rushing to fill their tanks and reservoirs at home so as not to be taken by surprise."

Reports from Yola, Adamawa, said there was a spontaneous resurfacing of black market operation where the black marketers had flooded major roads with the product.

Some of them were visible on the Jimeta -Yola road where most of the filling stations were located.

Consequently, a four-litre gallon was sold at N800 while most service stations were locked up as those few selling were using only one pump.

Although the pump price remained the same and the queues not too long, some of the commercial drivers blamed the marketers for the artificial scarcity.

Mr Hassan Yahaya, a commercial bus driver, said that Nigerians had enjoyed stability in fuel distribution in the past.

Mr Joseph Kwaji, another driver, accused “political saboteurs” of causing the economic crisis.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring stable distribution of the petrol products and called on marketers to stop hoarding.

In Bauchi, black market operators are facing hard times as the service stations refuse selling the product to them.

They are complaining that the service stations are not selling the product in Jerry cans for them to make brisk businesses.

Inuwa Hassan, s black market operator, said the stations were not selling the product to those with above five litres Jerrycans.

However, it was observed that they still found ways of beating the station attendants by using rickety vehicles to make multiple purchases of the product after siphoning into their Jerrycans.

Bello Idris, a commuter, blamed the Federal Government for the scarcity, adding that the long queued were seen all over the country.

Visits to some filling stations in Bauchi metropolis by a NAN correspondent, showed some stations with eight to 10 pumps were selling petrol from two pumps.

Motorists were in long queues waiting patiently for their turns to buy fuel in all the stations.

-NAN

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