… black marketers sell N1500

From Judex Okoro, Calabar

Commuters and motorists in Calabar, Cross River state have expressed their frustration and disappointment as fuel price hits N1,000 per liter.

The hike in the price of the commodity is a s a result of yesterday’s inaugural address by the new Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, that announced removal of subsidy.

Following the President’s announcement, a good number of marketers of the commodity within the metropolis shut down their petrol stations over fear of increase in pump price of petroleum products by federal government.

Although the product was sold at almost all stations in the capital city two days ago and early morning of May 29, things took a dramatic turn following the announcement even as they have the product in stock.

When our correspondent went round some streets of the metropolis, it was discovered that a few petrol stations that opened are selling between N650 and N1000 per litre while black marketers sell between N1300 and N1500 per litre.

As a result of this, transport fares have trippled within the metropolis and most students and workers have chosen to remain indoors or trekk hoping that the situation will ease off.

Checks revealed that between Ekpo Abasi and University of Calabar Main gate that was usually N100 is now N200 per drop, while Mayne Avenue- Marian-Effio Ette Junction now goes for N300 as against N150 per drop and 8 Miles -Calabar Road is now N300 as against N200.

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Expressing disappoint, a public servant, Effiong Edet, said he was surprised to wake up to go to work only for taxo drivers to jeck up the transport fare by 150 per cent from Ekpo Abasi to Federal Secretarait at Murtala Mohammed Highway.

Edet said civil servants have been bearing the brunt of the economic crisis in the country and this explains the reason for frequent strikes.

He wondered why the government should immediately remove subsidy which would have consequential effects on the economy without a consequential adjustment on minimum wage.

“Our salaries have been fixed for over a decade now yet prices of commodities have been been on the increase. How would we go to work with this kind of hike in transport fares? We cannot just cope with the present condition of paying N600 daily transportation.”

A commercial driver, Emmanuel Asuquo, said they had to hike the tranaport fare to be able to remain in business, adding “we cannot buy fuel at N650 a litre at filling statiin and you expect us to still charge the usual N100 per drop before the increament.

“We charge according to market forces and how they sell fuel. Some of our colleagues who boughat N1000 per litre would charge N500 per drop and that is where we are as I am talking with you.”

A keke rider, Eddy Udofia,25, said: “I bought fuel at N700 and I would charge N300 per drop because I have to recoup the fuel money to keep my business going. It is not my fault but that of government and marketers, who hoad this product at any slightest opportunity.”

As at the time of sending this report, there were long queues at
petrol stations including Dozzy, Fynfield and NNPC on the highway.