Fuel scarcity and hard times in Maiduguri
SIR: The people of Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State, are experiencing hard times as a result of the increase in pump price of petrol, recently occasioned by the nationwide fuel scarcity.
As a result of the spike, commercial tricycle riders, popularly known as Keke NAPEP that used to charge N50 per trip, have doubled the fare – a situation that makes life harder for the people living within Maiduguri metropolis. These people are finding it very difficult to cope with the situation due to the densely populated nature of the city.
Unfortunately, the city has been in total blackout as a result of Boko Haram insurgents’ activities that have destroyed the electricity installations. Therefore, people rely solely on generators for electricity, which have also become almost impossible as a result of the current hike in the pump price.
On the streets, stranded commuters are blaming Keke riders for the latest increase in fares. The operators, in turn, have no explanation for the current scarcity. However, the managers and their attendants at fuel stations have also contributed immensely to worsening the situation, as they embarked on sharp practices to suggest artificial scarcity of the product. That is not fair to the common man in Maiduguri.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has recently blamed the scarcity on adulterated fuel that was brought into the country. But in the north, it has now become a norm to have routine fuel scarcity that worsens the peoples’ plight every year.
It is important for the government, through the NNPC, to urgently look into the problem and find a lasting solution to the problem of fuel scarcity.
Mary Oluwatosin Afolabi is of the department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri.