Residents of Calabar, the Cross River State capital, late Monday evening began to experience what can best be described as an artificial fuel scarcity brought about by the insistence of independent fuel marketers to dictate market prices and sell above the government approved price of N87m(eighty seven naira) a litre.
In most fuel stations visited by www.calitown.com, independent marketers shut down their stations while those who decided to sell, sold at N100 (one hundred naira) a litre. Long fuel queues are beginning to form in the city centre as most vehicle owners were panic-buying, not knowing when the situation will return to normal.
Hordes of commuters had a hard time commuting to their destinations as the few available commercial taxi operators are charging exhorbitant fees. Investigations by www.calitown.com further reveal that the situation has been in the offing for some time now and that the state government’s insistence that Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, known locally as petrol be old at the government approved price of N87 may have been viewed by the marketers as unacceptable.
An independent marketer on parliamentary village who choose to remain anonymous insists that while the state government seems hell bent on keeping the price at N87 a litre, “those of us in the business are incurring costs that the government is insensitive to. You can imagine that even the roads we use are in such a bad state that most of our members have lost trucks with products because of these bad roads and rather than address this road issue, government is shifting the blame to us, which should not be so”.
Meanwhile, black marketers are having a field day selling a litre of fuel for between N200 to N250. At the popular MCC junction by Mobil filling station, one black marketer told www.calitown.com in spattering English that, “as them no gree sell as government talk say make them sell, we self get power to sell as we want and you no go blame us”.
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