Fuel scarcity cripples activities in Imo
Economic and social activities in the 27 local councils of Imo State have been crippled since Sunday, following the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, in the state.
The Guardian observed business activities in Owerri, the Imo State capital, and found that many operators of fuel stations sell their products at prices ranging from N170 to N180, a situation that also led to 100 per cent hike in transport fares.
An intra-city journey from Okigwe Road to Douglas Road in Owerri now costs about N100 as against the original cost of N50. A dash on tricycle from the popular Okigwe Road Roundabout to Port Harcourt Road, which used to cost N50 before weekend, also goes for N100.
As a result, many commuters, including civil servants, who cannot afford the fares, trek long distances to work. Fewer vehicles were also seen on the roads yesterday, following the crisis, while fuel stations dispensing PMS experienced congestion.
A commuter told The Guardian: “This is really a parting gift from out-going President Goodluck Jonathan. The government knows what they are doing with the marketers. Does it mean that they could not save money during the rainy day; they could not plan? We are waiting for the in-coming President –Elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to correct all these ills. We are suffering and they do not even care.”
Operators of fuel stations in the state attributed the exorbitant pump prices to high price at the point of purchases.