Long Petrol Queues, Hiked Transport Fare Rock Awka as Petrol Price Increases

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Long Petrol Queues, Hiked Transport Fare Rock Awka as Petrol Price Increases
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Petrol users in Awka have resorted to buying from few filling stations, including the NNPC Mega Station, after the price of the product rose yesterday’s morning from one hundred and seventy-five naira to two hundred and twelve naira per litre.

Consumers trooped to the major, and only functional NNPC outlet in the Anambra State capital forming a long queue waiting to buy at the normal price of one hundred and seventy-five naira per litre.

Discomforting rumours swirled around social media on Wednesday of purported petroleum products’ price increase by the federal government.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Nigeria’s petroleum price watchdog had posted about the price increase on its website, but was forced to shut down the post in the early hours of Friday and reissue a counter-statement, through its Executive Secretary, Saidu Abdulkadir, when the original one purportedly started generating intense controversy.

When ABS reporter, Daniel Ezeigwe, went on media surveillance around Awka, most filling stations had adopted the new price, with some even selling higher than the hiked price.

This ugly scenario has also prompted buyers to rush demand, with a presumable scare of another hike, while suspicion of product hoarding, diversion and adulteration have already set in.

Some consumers, Mr Samuel Obiora and Dr Emeka Okpalamma, lamented the continuous increase in the prices of petroleum products in Nigeria, explaining that the masses have always been at the receiving end of most bureaucratic decisions made by the government.

Another buyer, a former member of Anambra State House of Assembly, Honourable Vincent Atuigwe, who described the situation as sad, explained that the sudden hike would have an all-round effect both on transportation and foods, with an expected inflationary alarm.

On his part, the Awka Office Operations Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr Akpomudjere Okiemute, said that despite the hike, consumer panic was unnecessary as there was enough products supply to Anambra State, and that his office is already on the field to checkmate products illegitimacy.

Meanwhile in a statement released on the development, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on NUPENG Petroleum and Union Matters, Comrade Peter Nwosu, urged Ndi To remain calm in the face of the recent development, and re-assured residents that the state government will ensure availability of Petroleum products within the state through the already existing relationship with all the Oil and gas Union in the state.

It is still unclear, the reason for the current hike, with the federal government stating later yesterday, through the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timiprie Sylva, that it was disowning earlier announcement by the PPPRA about the price increase, as the presidency was not aware of such plan.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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