Nigeria’s economy appears to be experiencing more setbacks with the worsening fuel crisis which has hit the country.
For almost a month, Nigerians have been queuing at fuel service stations all over the country to get petrol for their vehicles and other users.
Lagos and Ogun States in the South-west, Delta and Rivers State in the South-south, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Plateau in Northern Nigeria, the situation appears unbearable.
Petrol is selling over 200 Naira per litre in the South-south, but it seems to be worse in the Northern region where fuel is said to be sold over 300 Naira.
In Imo State and Anambra, petrol is selling for 170 Naira per litre.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu has given assurances that he is trying his best to ensure the queues reduce between the first and second week of April.
Most hit in this situation are small and medium scale businesses who are unable to continue production, since they rely on petrol to run electricity generating plants.
They also had very poor sales during the Easter season.
Meanwhile, Fuel scarcity in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital continues to bite harder as buyers wait endlessly on queues with no hope of getting the product in sight.
Scarcity of petrol has continued to get worse in the last two weeks. In some cases, buyers have to pay more than double the usual amount to get fuel into their cars.
The situation is not different in most parts of the country, where the fuel scarcity continues to affect socio-economic activities.
Our correspondents from the states report that there has been a drop in economic and social activities across the states due to the lingering fuel crisis.
Many residents now spend the better part of their days queuing endless hours at fuel service stations.
Chaos has been the regular in most NNPC fuel stations in Osun State, Southwest Nigeria.
Motorcyclists and vehicle owners keep vigil at filling stations that have now become battle fields, as they struggle to fill their tanks, generating sets and any other fuel consuming machines.
Security agents have also their hands full, as they try to maintain law and order.
The situation is no different in Umuahia the Abia State capital, in the southeast region, as queues continue to extend at filling stations.
Meanwhile, in Yenagoa Bayelsa State, South-South Nigeria there have been raids of petrol stations, as members of the Bayelsa State Petroleum Task Force have visited over 30 stations dispensing fuel to monitor the sale.
All the stations raided already had their metres adjusted with unsuspecting customers getting as low as 4.5 litres for the price of 10 litres of petrol in spite of the almost double prices.
While the Task Force officials said that they were aware of sharp practices by the independent stations, they were shocked to see how far they would go to rip the people off.
However, in most states, the NNPC mega stations have been selling products at the recommended price.
The Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that the situation would improve by Monday, as major marketers were currently lifting products from fuel depots.