On Tuesday, as the situation remained unchanged from the trends seen over the previous two weeks, commuters and drivers in Lagos and Ogun states bemoaned the harsh effects of the persistent fuel shortage.
According to our reporters’ checks, the price of Premium Motor Spirit, often known as gasoline, appeared to have stabilized at N200 a litre, which is roughly the same price it has been selling for over the previous week in Lagos, Abuja, and some other states.
Additionally, there were lengthy lines at the few stores selling the product in the cities as drivers jostled for a chance to purchase it.
Additional research by The PUNCH revealed that the ongoing shortage of PMS contributed to a 50% increase in transportation costs throughout Lagos. Some routes experienced rises of up to 100%.
A commercial transporter who travels the Berger/Mowe route between Lagos and Ogun states claimed that motorists were having a tough time acquiring fuel in addition to paying a hefty price hike for it.
He said, “It’s because of the price which we are buying. For more than a week, we’ve been buying fuel for N200/litre or almost N200/litre. Apart from the increase in price, we often suffer before we can buy. Many filling stations have closed for business. They refuse to sell even though we know some of them to have fuel. Every day, I spend hours before buying fuel.“
Passengers think we enjoy increasing our fares, but if we don’t increase, we won’t make any profit. Even with the increase, we are still not making what we make on a normal day, especially because of the time it takes to buy fuel.”
A passenger who identified herself as Ganiyat said the increase in the fares along the Berger/Ibafo axis was beginning to take a toll on the commuters.
According to her, the fuel scarcity had led to a scarcity of commercial buses, a situation which conventionally forces transport fares to go up.
She said, “It is getting out of hand. I go from Ibafo to Lagos and back every day. Normally, I pay N200 from Berger to Ibafo, but ever since this fuel scarcity started, you have to make sure you come out with enough money because you don’t even know how much they are going to charge. Today, they are charging N500. On Saturday I paid N800 for a trip I normally pay N200.”
Mr Cyril Ukpor, who resides at Iyana Ejigbo area of Lagos State, however said he bought fuel at N165/litre at one of the outlets of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the area.
Also, a resident who gave her name as Blessing said she bought the product at N200/litre.
“I have been buying fuel for N200/litre. To me it is not really about the price, it is about the availability of the product. Let the product be readily available for us to buy. We know that whenever we start seeing long queues like this, it is an indication that they want to increase the pump price”