Headline News Special Report

Black market booms as petrol queues worsens

Black Marketing is selling of product outside its regulated realm and against the official Price at the detriment of the people.

The Business is mostly associated with Premium Motor Spirit PMS popularly known as Petrol especially during Scarcity of the Product.

It is against this Background, Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and its environs have been groaning for weeks over Scarcity of Petrol which had led to hike in price by some Filling Stations and black marketers.

Fuel scarcity hit the nation’s Capital, Abuja and its Neighboring States in September this year., and the NNPC attributed the cause to the obstruction of vehicular movement caused by Floods in Lokoja, the Kogi State Capital.   Since then, Motorists, Commuters, Business owners especially, those who rely on Power Generators to operate, have been facing hardship and spending extra, for survival.

Radio Nigeria visited some Filling Stations along Orozo, Kurudu, Jikwoyi and Nyanya to find out how the people in the areas are coping with the situation.

Some Tricycle operators, Chima Umeh and Oliver Asogwa wondered why the Supply of the product was insufficient for Buyers after the floods which were attributed to the scarcity of the product. 

According to Umeh ” Initially,they told us the Lokoja Bridge was blocked by Floods, now the Floods have subsided, what is till holding Tanker Drivers to come to Abuja, the suffering is too much”.

” For how long we will be facing this hardship, every queue or buying a 1 Liter of petrol at rate of 230,240 even 250 Naira” Asogwa groaned.

The duo explained that the Challenges caused by the scarcity of Petrol were becoming unbearable to them and their Passengers.

Asogwa who pleaded with the Federal Government and other relevant authorities to ease the hardship facing the people in Abuja and its envorons said he  fought with his passengers over the bargaining of fare.

“I took a lady from Kurudu to Nyanya, She offered me One hundred and Fifty Naira but insisted her fare was Two hundred and Fifty Naira, I told her that I bought Black Market at Two hundred and Fifty Naira,how did you expecting me to carry you One hundred and Fifty Naira, we started fighting, but it took the intervention of the people to make a  peace.”

The both explained how difficulty it has been with them to make profit,feed themselves during operations as well cater for the need of their family.

The situation is similar to Private Car owners including, Mr Chidi Njoku and Mrs Janet Oladini as many of them either buy from the Black Market at 300 Naira per Liter or Queue for minimum of four hours just to get petrol.

Mr Chidi Njoku a residents of Kurudu  alleged that many filling Stations along the Orozo, Kurudu, Jikwoyi and Nyanya Route have the product but hoarding it.

“Sometime they  will sell for few hours, the next story will be no fuel, fuel has finished. They(Filling Stations) too are adding to the problem”. Mr Njoku explained.

How and where Black Marketers get their supply of PMS.

Some of the Black Marketers both female and Male Adults for some years have identified the act as Business for Motoriststhat could not withstand the stress of queueing atfilling Stations.

The Petrol Black Marketers revealed that although, they make much profit from the Business but they pay high price to get the commodity by going out as far Mararaba, Masaka areas of Nasarawa State to buy into Jerry cans at rate between 220 and 250 per liter.

One of the Roadside  Black Marketers, Adamu  Abdullahi alleged that even Security agents usually collect One liter of fuel from them to allow them do their business unchallenged.

“At times, police will collect one liter of Petroleum from each of us, imagine this fillings both side of the Road, then they will go”.

Another middle age woman, who did not want her name mentioned also alleged that Police usually disturb them on the road, we understand each other.

All they want is to refill their operation Vehicles, then they will go on their ways”.

Some Petrol attendants said the cause of the Scarcity of Petroleum in Abuja is yet to be identified as Authorities in the oil sector had given assurance to Nigerians of sufficiency.

Some Commuters said their Monthly Incomes were being spent on transportation and appealed to the Government to find lasting Solution to the persistent  fuel Scarcity.

The Commuters allayed the fear that if the situation was not addressed, many Nigerians may not travel for the yuletide which is fast approaching.

Reporting by Samuel ADEYINKA, editing by Daniel Adejo