The fuel scarcity witnessed in large parts of Nigeria continues to bite, resulting in a spiral effect as commuters lament the rising cost of transportation.
This follows reports of fuel scarcity in Lagos, Kaduna, and other cities across the country.
According to commuters who spoke to Nairametrics, transport fares to destinations have increased by over 150% on various routes.
The struggle: In conversations with commuters at various locations, commuters bemoaned the scarcity of commercial vehicles and how the few available drivers were taking advantage of the situation, raising the prices exorbitantly.
Adeoye Bala is a businessman in Lagos Island and sells shoes. He told Nairametrics how he had to struggle to get to his workplace every day since the recent fuel scarcity resurfaced.
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- “We have gone through a lot because of the fuel shortage issue. For example, yesterday (Thursday) I went to the store early at 7:00 am just to get to the bus stop and waited for hours because there were no cars. Some of the available vehicles were rushed to the masses and we had to pay more than twice the money we had to pay,” he said.
- Expressing frustration, he said, “Even after paying N500 instead of N200 eventually, the bus did not reach our destination, we still had to walk down after he fell in the middle of the road.”
Ngozi John stays on the mainland but works in a hotel on the Island. In the past few days he has gone through the frustration of moving back and forth, almost losing his job.
- “I was supposed to return to work by 8:00 in the evening but in the past few days, I have not been able to meet that because of the scarcity of the car. All vehicles are not available at the bus stop. We often fight tooth and nail to secure vehicles today. Luckily, it’s a general thing and so I’m still at work.
The drivers’ view: While many see the drivers as opportunists taking advantage of the situation to drive up prices, they also have stories to tell.
A commercial driver popularly called SJ, plying the Lekki – Epe route told Nairametrics how getting fuel has become difficult in the past few days.
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- “It’s not our fault. We have increased the prices, but you cannot expect us to buy fuel at an expensive price and still maintain the same transport fare. The filling stations were not selling and the available fuel we could get was very expensive. “
Bayo Adeola also shared his sentiments. He noted that the drivers just passed on the cost of fuel.
- “Look at the queues at the various filling stations. I had to pay N4,000 to get ten liters this morning, which is more than double the regular price, and yet you expect the cost of transportation will not increase.
- “I know everyone is disappointed but let’s pass the frustration on to the people there and not to ourselves because everyone is affected by the economic situation.”
If you missed it: In a recent interview with Channels Television, the deputy national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Zarama Mustapha, outlined some of the reasons why some cities are experiencing fuel scarcity.
He outlined the delay in the discharge of petroleum from the mother vessel to the depots because of some challenges between the private depot owners and the NNPC, which is the main supplier of petroleum. He also focused on pricing issues, NNPC’s lack of storage, policies, and the yuletide season among others.