Lagosians groan as fuel scarcity lingers
MANY Lagosians, who had waited for immediate relief over the lingering fuel crisis in the state and other major cities in the country, yesterday expressed disappointments over the recurring fuel crisis in the country despite assurances by agencies of government.
To these residents, it is still unthinkable that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has not yet come up with a workable solution to the problem, while Nigerians continue to suffer in midst of plenty.
As they grapple with the fuel scarcity, which had since resulted to the resurgence of long queues in few petrol stations dispensing the product and black market operators, who are making brisk business selling at exorbitant price, they are hoping that the situation would be quickly tackled and not allowed to fester till the festive period.
As a result of the scarcity, which became severe two days ago, residents across the state have been subjected to harrowing experiences, spending long hours at petrol stations in search of fuel.
Car owners, transporters that operate within the state and inter-states, tricycle operators, motorcycle operators, commuters and those under the scourge of constant power outage in need of fuel to run their generators, were all at the receiving end.
Some of the petrol stations, especially the independent oil marketers, have capitalised on the situation to hike the price the product, with some selling as high as N120 per litre. Many other outlets remained under lock and key preferring to sell only to black market operators at night.
According to residents who spoke to The Guardian, the worsening fuel scarcity has forced an increase in transport fares and food items.
A fuel attendant at Royal Filling Station, Abesan Estate Gate, a Lagos suburb, could not even explain why the product was not available. “I don’t know what has been responsible for us not having fuel. I just know that there is no fuel,” he said.
About five filling stations along the axis, including Good Morning station at Moshalashi, were shut. Commuters at various bus stops in the metropolis were also having it rough getting to their destinations.
The situation was also the same in Mushin, Ikeja, Airport Road, Iyana Ipaja, Oshodi, Isolo as well as border towns like Berger, Okokomaiko, just to mention a few.
The Guardian also sighted some young men selling petrol by the roadside at various locations, including International Airport Road.
Worried by the worsening scarcity, a civil servant, who works along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, lamented that the situation is taking the nation backward. “We are returning to the bad old days because we thought the issue of fuel scarcity was long behind us.
“The former President Jonathan made us happy, when he brought the price of fuel down to N87 and though some problems trailed his action, we were able to weather the storm, which was stabilised by the new administration. Why is the problem rearing its head again?” he queried.
The Federal Government has, however, urged Nigerians to exercise patience over the fuel crisis currently witnessed across the country, while assuring the public that the queues currently witnessed would disappear in the next 72 hours. The assurance was given by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe kachikwu, who spoke while monitoring some fuel stations in Abuja.