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Fuel scarcity bites harder in Borno, Yobe

By From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri
25 December 2009   |   11:27 am
The scarcity of petroleum products continued to hit Borno and Yobe states, as motorists and commercial motorcycle operators besieged a handful of the filling stations that had fuel yesterday to dispense. The filling stations in Maiduguri and Damaturu were jam-packed with very long queues of vehicles and motorcycles, stretching up of two-three kilometres on Airport, Baga and Sir Kashim Ibrahim Way and roads.

With the exception of Total and Oando filling stations on the Maiduguri Airport Road, a litre of petrol was being dispensed at N110, N45 above the official pump price of N65.

The major filling stations visited by The Guardian in Maiduguri and Damaturu, the state capitals of Borno and Yobe states respectively, did not hike the pump price of fuel like the independent oil marketers which are selling at N110 per litre.

Confirming the shortages of fuel, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) zonal comptroller for Borno and Yobe states, Alhaji Mohmmed Usman, disclosed that the allocation for the two states has dropped, because of circumstances which he refused to make public when contacted to explain the shortfall of fuel to the affected states.

An anonymous source from the DPR, further confirmed that there was a drop of more than 50 per cent in the allocation of petroleum products to the North-East sub-region, comprising Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe states.

The scarcity of fuel has also forced some of the motorists to abandon their vehicles at the filling stations that had fuel since last Wednesday, hoping that the following morning they may be able to fill their tanks.

A motorist, at one of the filling stations in Damaturu, said that he had spent two days before reaching the gate of the filling station yesterday at about 12 noon, stating that over 500 vehicles were still in the queue behind him, without fuel in any of the tanks.

Expectedly, black market operators in the two state capitals have been selling petrol at N150 litre, N40 above the independent marketers pump price of N110.

Even though taxi and bus fares were not hiked as at yesterday, the fares for interstate transport services were increased by 20 per cent.

The taxi fare for the Maiduguri-Damaturu journey, for example, was increased from N250 to N300, while the ones to Jos, Kano and Abuja were also hiked by N300 to N500.