The raging fuel scarcity across the country has put many untold hardship as transport fares have shot through the roof. For the last few weeks, the supply of fuel has been irregular, forcing an increase in pump prices, long queues and a boom for illegal petrol vendors and black marketers.
The strike was embarked upon by the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) coupled with the reported subsidy arrears owed petroleum marketers by the Federal Government running to about N200 billion, which the Federal Government denied.
According to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the queues were not caused by payment issues. She added that the government recently paid N150 billion – N100 billion being the principal owed oil marketers and N56 billion interest and exchange rates differentials.
However, the queues have not abated as commuters and transporters are groaning under the hardship.
ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with some commuters and transporters on the issue…
‘I hope for the best -ADERONKE OSHODI
Transport fares have increased unnecessarily. The fact that people have to queue endlessly at filling stations is not only sad but annoying because it causes a lot of traffic. Above all, I have no choice but to hope for the best. I have also adjusted my time in order not to get to work late.
The solution lies in the hands of the Government. We are begging them to do something about it
‘It is really getting worse’ -TEMI ABIOLA
It is really getting worse. There are no buses on the road, you need to see people on the road. To crown it all, transportation has doubled. I am just trying to get by. The Federal Government should rise up to their responsibilities. That is the solution.
‘They should ease the burden on us’ -NELSON ESSEH
I really don’t understand how this country expects us to survive. There’s no light, no fuel to power your generator, and even where it is available, it is sold at ridiculous price. This is very inhumane treatment meted to the people. I think the federal government should sit down with tanker drivers and marketers and reach agreement which would ease this burden on us.
‘The price of everything is doubled’ -SAMFIELD BASSEY
The price of almost everything has doubled because of this fuel wahala. And it is not that the money you are making also increased. We are in a situation where your income is not increased, but your expenditure has. If we continue like this, I don’t see this country surviving for long. And I don’t think Buhari can do much, the damage is just too much. For me, what I would advise is that the government should pay the tanker drivers and marketers their dues so that things can return to normal.
‘God will reward oil marketers according to their wickedness’ -PASTOR (MRS.) VICTORIA OKEZIE-AGBARA
No sin shall ever go unpunished, says the Lord. There’s a God in everything we do. How can we be suffering like this? This is the worst fuel scarcity in the world. I bought a litre of petrol at N400!
The strike of fuel tanker drivers has worsened the already bad situation. I have seen people trekking long distances. Some families can’t cook. Nobody is doing nothing. This is not fair at all. I think we should demonstrate this week, if the situation remains like this.
‘I am not happy’ – SALISU AHMED
I am not happy that tanker drivers resumed strike again. It’s not good at all at this moment. To me, it’s a wicked action. We’re hoping that the whole thing will be resolved so that we can get fuel everywhere but they still decided to worsen the situation.
The last time I bought fuel, it was N150 per litre, but now, it’s N200 per litre and you can’t even get it now in my area. I will advise that Jonathan’s administration should pay the aggrieved marketers their outstanding balance.
Then, set a panel of enquiry into all the corrupt practices in the sector to ensure lasting peace in the country.
‘Something urgent needs to be done’ -ISAAC OSOKPOR
Personally, I don’t support the decision of petrol tanker drivers going on strike again because it can’t solve the problem, instead it has already worsened the situation.
Now, I read that all the local depots are empty because they have refused to carry fuel to all the depots. And without which no filling station can get the commodity. And so far, it’s not made available to the filling stations, it can’t get to the end users. That’s what informed the so called black market of a thing. And now, a litre is sold at N350 minimum. I think it’s high time the government resolved its differences with the marketers in the interest of the masses.
Everything is not moving again. The economy itself is at a standstill. Almost all economic activities are paralyzed at the moment. And to worsen the situation, no light. And the way things are going now, if the problem is not resolved in the next few days, that’s going to be very difficult for Buhari to do within the first week of his administration.
Nigerians need something urgent so that the whole system will not come to a halt. I think Jonathan should just meet the demand of these marketers once and for all so that we can have a relief. He can now leave the issue of probe for Buhari to battle when he assumes office on May 29, 2015.