Most motorists in Jos have expressed concern about the emergence of long queues at various filling stations as fuel scarcity hits Jos-Bukuru metropolis.
Some of the motorists, who spoke with newsmen on Monday in Jos, also alleged that some petrol marketers increased the price of the petrol.
Correspondent of NAN who visited some of the petrol stations reports that majority of them were not dispensing the product to consumers, while long queues of vehicles were seen in the few ones that were selling.
NAN also reports that in the few of the filling stations dispensing, the product is being sold for between N170 and N200 per litre.
Operators of black market have taken advantage of the scarcity to increase the price of the product at their ends from N1, 000 to N1, 300 per four-litre gallon
However, the product is being sold at the approved price of N162 at the NNPC mega station located around the Dogon Karfe area of Jos, but not without long queue.
Mr Pam Chomo, a commercial driver, decried that the scarcity of the essential commodity, adding that it was biting hard on motorists and have forced commercial drivers to increase transport fares.
Chomo, said that the rationale for the scarcity could not be ascertained, but alleged that the trend could be associated with government planned increase of the price of petrol.
“As we speak to you, most filling stations, except the NNPC mega station, sells the petrol below N170.
“And the unfortunate thing is that in the stations that are selling, motorists spend hours on the queue just get the fuel.
“This has forced commercial drivers to increase transport fares to enable make gains and also cover up for the hours they spend on queues,’’ he said.
Mr Peter Okolo, a businessman said that the scarcity would not only affect the individual’s income but the general revenue of government, as people spent productive time on queues in search of fuel
“We all know time is money, and as I am talking to you, I have spent over four hours on queue without moving an inch.
“I have spent four good hours out of my productive time in search of one commodity, yet I still haven’t got it; I am still here.
“May be I will still to spend more hours to have it, if at all I will get it at the end.
“So, if businessmen, civil servants, artisans, farmers and host of others will spent hours on queue just to get one commodity, then it is unfortunate for our growing economy,” he lamented.
Mr Joseph Dung, a farmer, said: “Government must as matter of urgency address this because it has negatively affected other spheres of humanity endeavours”.
But Mr John Jeff, a civil servant, described the scarcity as “artificial” and blamed the unfortunate trend on the independent marketers who are bent at making profit at all cost.
Jeff alleged that the marketers were hoarding old stocks in anticipation of increase in the price of the essential commodity in the coming months.
“For me, the current scarcity of fuel is just an artificial arrangement created by independent marketers.
“Because government is proposing total removal of subsidy, which will in turn hike the price of petrol, marketers are currently hoarding the product to make gains.
“This is sheer wickedness by Nigerians to their fellow citizens,’’ he said
NAN also reports that Plateau Government had warned that it would shut down and auction any fuel station in the state found to be hoarding petrol products.