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Motorists decry crisis as illegal vendors make fortune in FCT


• DPR closes two filling stations in C’River
As the effects of the lingering fuel scarcity bite harder on the citizenry, some unpatriotic Nigerians have made and still making huge fortunes from this unsavoury situation by vending the product at very exorbitant rates in the Federal Capital Territory.

While motorists groan over the unavailability of petrol in filling stations, illegal vendors, popularly known in the local parlance as black marketers, have swooped on the streets of Abuja dispensing the product between N400 and N500 per litre to the already weary citizens.

By implication, they are becoming the gainers of the crisis, smiling to the banks with good fortunes.There were also indications yesterday that attendants were equally getting gratification as high as N1000 before selling to people with jerry cans.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, recently accused the illegal vendors of sabotaging efforts to end the crisis, saying most of the peddlers permanently put their vehicles in queues at petrol stations, procure product, discharge content in containers and later rejoin the queues.

Curiously, motorists and residents of the FCT are accusing the security agencies and concerned authorities of aiding and abetting perpetrators of the illicit business.

According to them, the ubiquity of the black marketers remains an eyesore. A motorist, who identified himself as Shola Babatunde, decried that the product which was non-existent in filling stations was readily available at street corners within the city.

A commercial transporter, Wasiu Sulyman, described the situation as unfortunate, stressing that the sabotage would continue if government refuses to act timely.Another motorist, Edwin Uche, blamed government for alleged shabby handling of the entire crisis.

However, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has shot two fuel stations in Calabar for selling above the N145 official pump price. The affected facilities were reportedly dispensing the product at the rate of N190 to N205 per litre.The Controller of DPR in Cross River, Bassey Nkanga, told reporters that the big hammer was wielded due to infraction.

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