Anger, frustrations in Rivers
With pumps of most filling stations in Port Harcourt drying up, motorists are getting enraged and blaming their excruciating pains in long queues in filling stations on government incompetence.
Irrespective of being the host of the country’s two largest refineries with crude processing capacity of 210,000 litres per day, Rivers State has being seen motorists scrambling to find a few squirts of petrol as the pumps in most of the filling stations have dried up for months.
A hairdresser, Furo Adokiye, told The Guardian that it was disheartening that a period when majority of Port Harcourt residents are struggling with power outages, their pains are further being aggravated by acute fuel scarcity.
A media practitioner, Mr. Chris Amaechi, who told The Guardian that be bought a litre of petrol at N160 per litre at a filling station along G.U.Ake Road in Port Harcourt, said a situation where Nigerians are forced to buy petrol at exorbitant rates is unacceptable.
“For months, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has blamed filing stations in Port Harcourt of hoarding products which statutorily should have warranted the closure of these filings. But the reality on ground is that those selling at N150 and above per litre are doing so in broad day light and the DPR has not sealed up any filing station,” he said.
A hotel proprietor who pleaded anonymity described as paradoxically a situation where the rest of the world is enjoying the lowest fuel prices in years, Nigeria, who is the seventh highest producer of petroleum, is struggling with worst fuel scarcity in history.
Amidst the acute scarcity, motorists scuffled with each other at the few filling stations that are dispensing petrol. A taxi driver, Kayode Owolabi, said if the scarcity continued for the next one week, transportation fares would be increased.
Already, there are very few taxies and commercial buses on the streets of Port Harcourt, as most of the drivers send most of the day at long queues waiting to buy fuel as they cannot afford to buy petrol at N400 per litre from the black market dealers.
A right activist, Chris Ndubusi, said with public anger building, the fuel scarcity has shaken Nigerians’ confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s ability to tackle the pressing socioeconomic issues facing Nigeria.