Petrol scarcity grounds commercial activities in Ondo State

Motorists queue at a filling station

Motorists queue at a filling station

Commercial activities were on Monday grounded in Okitipupa, Ondo State, sequel to the increasing fuel scarcity, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

NAN checks revealed that many filling stations were not dispensing, while a few of them were selling at between N200 and N250 per litre.

The busy roads: Okitipupa-Ore, Okitipupa-Igbokoda, Okitipupa-Igbotako were deserted as few passengers were also seen at both old and new motor parks while some pedestrians trekked short distances.

Few workers were seen at the Okitipupa Local Government Secretariat, the State Specialist Hospital, the magistrates’ and high courts premises.

Some of the workers approached declined comment.

In spite of the market day, the main market also recorded low turnout as few traders and buyers were seen around and it was unusually quiet compared to previous market days.

Some members of the public expressed displeasure over the situation, saying the scarcity had brought hardship to them and their businesses.

They appealed to the Federal Government and petrol marketers to reach an agreement and find a lasting solution to the lingering scarcity.

Mrs Bernice Ikumapayi, a teacher, said that she was trekking to her house since she could not afford the N100 fare charged by commercial vehicles, instead of N50.

“I just thank God that we are on holiday now before the fuel scarcity bites harder, I don’t know how I will be going to my school in Igbotako because salaries have not been paid,’’ Ikumapayi said.

Mr Akanni Sanusi, a commercial driver who lamented absence of passengers, said that he bought petrol in his car at N250 per litre from a black market in Ore.

“We have low patronage of passengers now because Okitipupa to Ore is now N400 as against N250 and this is the only way I can make up for my fuel,’’ he said.

A commercial motorcyclist, Tony Badmus who also lamented low patronage, said he bought fuel at N220 which made him to increase the fare from N50 to N100.

“This scarcity is affecting our business; government must do something to arrest this situation because it’s unbearable,’’ Badmus said.

Mrs Shade Kuye, a petty trader, said that the scarcity affected her business, lamenting that no customer patronised her to buy pepper, tomatoes and garri.

“Today is market day, you can see as the market is scanty as customers have refused to buy goods; we plead with the government to have mercy on us,’’ she said.

A petrol attendant, Sayo Kunleola whose petrol station was not dispensing product, said that the station could not lift fuel because of high cost.

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