By Staff Corresspondent
It was a disastrous Easter to some residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital as they lamented the hike in the cost of fuel and the inability of the filling stations to sell the product thereby hampering the plans of the people to travel home for the holiday.
Quite a number of the filling stations in the capital city were closed with green sack cloth used in covering the pump tanks, an indication that “there is no sale”.
Some of the residents who spoke with our correspondent said they have been moving round town in search of any filling station that sells the product to no avail. The few ones that offer to sell at N150 per liter witnessed an unbearable queue.
“I have been here since 6am to see if I can buy fuel for my generator, but they are not selling”, Onne George decried when accosted at the NNPC mega station at Lagos bus stop in Port Harcourt Town.
“Since there is no money for me to travel home with my family, I need to have fuel in the generator so that my children can enjoy watching the cartoons. It is very difficult because there is no NEPA light. They sell a litter of fuel at N200 in the black market. Where do we go from here!”.
Martins Chindera, an interstate commercial driver regretted that he could not get enough passengers on Friday due to lack of money and the scarcity of petrol. “I ply Uyo/Port Harcourt route. Normally, if you load your tank, it could take you to Uyo and back. But because of the high cost of the product, it has become difficult for me to go the normal two trips that I have been doing.
“You cannot even buy the black market because there is no guarantee that what you are buying is the original product. Even at that, you won’t even see the product to buy especially here in Port Harcourt. But if you out of here, you may be lucky to see petrol at filling stations but with same high price”.
Martins blamed the government for being “insensitive” to the plight of Nigerians many of whom, especially the Christians could not travel home to celebrate the Easter with their family members.
He suggested that in a festive period like this, “government should make sure that the basic necessities of things are made affordable for everybody. I know that many people will not be able to travel because there is no money. Even at that, there supposed to be sufficient fuel so that people can travel to their various destinations”.
Franlin Ntekim regretted that he had to cancel his plan trip to the village, because of the difficult situations in the country. “I have a car. My worry is that how much fuel will I buy to travel home! I used to fill my tank with N6000, right now if you want to buy from the black market you are talking of N10,000 or N12,000.
This is my second time of coming to this feeling station (Mobil) today. Somebody called me that they were selling here, so I rushed down. But what they are doing is that they sell to those who come with jerry cans and some security operatives. Nobody has told us anything. We have been in this sun for many hours”.