Fuel scarcity: grounds business activities in Kaduna
By; Amos Tauna & Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir, Kaduna.
Excruciating fuel scarcity in Kaduna and environ has resulted in low patronage of businesses even as the Christmas preparation draws nearer with light intra-city and inter-state traffic.
New Nigerian’s survey within the metropolis and environ, showed that fuel queues continue to increase in many parts of the town despite recent pronouncement by oil marketers under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) that normalcy would return very soon as they had received their subsidy claims from government and started importing petrol.
Before the payment, the marketers attributed the fuel scarcity to non-release of the fund but there has been no respites for motorists as long queues continue in most filling stations, indicating that Nigerians may spend the Christmas without petrol and stay indoors.
Commuters are seen in large numbers in different parts of the metropolis and environs waiting aimlessly for unavailable commercial vehicles to convey them to their various destinations while the few vehicles that could afford the product charge any amount as transport fares.
A visit round the few Stations dispensing PMS showed that a litre now sells between 150 and 170 naira. Even at that, such stations still witness long queues of vehicle waiting to buy.
Some of the motorists spoken to said where they used to fill their tanks, now they buy half tank or less just to take them to them to their next destination.
Our reporters also observed that most vehicles are seen parked around filling stations that still sell at the official pump price of 97 naira per litre for days waiting for fuel while business activities have almost come to a halt.
The secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Dandali Pasali attributed the present fuel scarcity to the supply gap created recently by the non-payment of subsidy claims.
He noted that another problem that the government failed to address was the failure to pay the bridging cost for the marketers for the last three months, adding that some marketers that were supplying 10 trucks from Lagos could not supply due to the paucity of funds.
Mr James Attak, a car owner said he has spent about three days queuing in a filling station hoping to buy fuel only to be told that the product got finish when he had only four vehicles ahead of his to get fuel. “It is so frustrating after all these days I spent queuing for fuel without doing anything that will help me only to be told that the product has finished,” he lamented.
Some passengers who were travelling for Christmas expressed sadness with the way and manner things have become so hard to Nigerians due to the fuel scarcity, pointing out that the fuel scarcity has affected all other sectors, making life miserable.
Meanwhile, transporters have devised means of ensuring they make up for the increase in pump price without increasing the transport fair that much. A vehicle that used to convey four passengers now convey six; adding two which increase their income with little inconveniences for the passengers.
A visit to major motor parks within the metropolis and the outskirts revealed that any passenger who is buoyant enough and does not want to be inconvenienced, either pay for a double seat or pay a bit higher than the regular fair to have a convenient space.