Commuting around Lagos state has become difficult as transportation fare more than doubled, a consequence of worsening fuel scarcity in the state.
This is despite Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, assurance that Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) would be available at petrol stations.
The Federal Executive Council and Group Managing Director of Nigerians National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru, also promised that normalcy would be restored soon.
SaharaReporters spoke with some residents in Lagos Island who lamented the exorbitant hike in transportation.
Ms. Ronke Olatinwo said fare from Obalende to Ajah tripled since Friday. “ They now call Ajah for N650 or N700 since Friday. On Friday, I entered it for N650 but now (Saturday) it is not N700. What used to be N200. It is not even about the money but before you get a bus, you will wait forever” she told our correspondent.
Another commuter who simply identified himself as Razak said tricycle fare to Adeola Odeku street in Victoria Island from Obalende is now N300, a 100% increase from the old price of N150.
Commuters on the mainland also suffer similar situation.
Mr. Kingsley Ebelo, said; “this is unbelievable! I don’t think it has ever been this worse with scarcity. From Ikeja to Yaba is N500 from Ikeja.
“This morning, (Saturday) some Napep took collected N300 to Ogba from Berger. What used to be N100. It is just unbelievable how this scarcity has worsened”.
However, one of the bus conductors our correspondent spoke with blamed the hike in fare on scarcity.
‘Star boy’ said; “It is not our fault. It is how much we get the fuel that we would sell it. I bought a litre at 400 last night from the black market. The few filing station that are selling, the queue is too long and if you had stayed in the queue all morning, you have to gain the money back.
“I still have to deliver at the same rate to the person who gave me the bus. I will get the money somehow. You people should beg your government to do something about the scarcity. Transporters are business people and they will make the profit somehow”.
Ms. Powei Monday, a resident in Berger area of Lagos, said she also bought 5 litres of PMS for N2500.
Nevertheless, NNPC has promised to intensify efforts to ease the scarcity in coming days.
Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC spokesman said on Saturday that marketers would be supplying petrol to depots in Lagos and across the country.
“The supplies are mostly from cargoes of PMS imported by NNPC which are daily berthing, and immediately being made to discharge their products to stem the supply hiccups.
“The imported products are also being supplemented by supplies from the local refineries.
“NNPC assures Nigerians to remain calm and not to engage in panic buying as the end of the challenge is nigh.
“Marketers are strongly advised against hoarding as security agencies, working with industry regulators, will mete out appropriate sanctions to defaulters,” Mr. Ughamadu said.