By Pamela Eboh, Awka
Inhabitants of Anambra State have resorted to trekking long distances to get to their destination following the sudden hike in petrol pump price from N140 to between N200 and N250 per litre.
When News Express visited some filling stations within Awka, the state capital on Friday, most of them shut their gates against customers claiming they had no fuel.
The only filling station that earlier opened for business was the NNPC mega station that sold at N140 per liter but the long stretch of queue was discouraging for a lot of motorists.
It was however, gathered that petrol station owners in the state had earlier met and agreed to peg petrol pump price between N200 and N250 because of the economic recession in the country, which has led to increase in the cost of maintaining the filling stations hence, they unanimously shut their gates from the early hours of yesterday.
The few ones that were willing to sell pegged their pump price at N250 and with that price, commercial bus operators as well Okada and Keke (tricycle) riders increased their fares by 100 per cent.
An Okada drop which ordinarily cost between N70 and N80 was increased to N150 per drop while bus fare from Aroma Junction to Udoka Housing Estate increased from N50 to N100.
Based on the unprecedented hike and with recession biting harder, passengers resorted to trekking long distances to their destinations while some car owners dropped their cars and embarked on commercial bus.
Mrs. Chinwe Aghamba, a civil servant, said she dropped her car for commercial vehicle so she can use the small fuel remaining in the fuel tank for school run.
She said, “I went to the filling station to buy fuel but they said they won’t sell anything below N250 so I decided to go home and park my car and use Okada to work but to my surprise the transport fares have all doubled.
“I will have to pack the car until we understand the situation. I can’t afford to buy fuel at N250 per liter in this critical period.”
Also a retired civil servant, Mr. Israel Okoye who lives in the Obinagu area of the state, said he took to trekking from the Okada Park at Dike Junction to Obinagu road when the Okada rider charged him N150 for a drop.
“It’s a terrible situation in this country but we shall live to survive it. People are crying of lack of money, hunger and now fuel issue has entered the line. How can I possibly pay N150 for this short distance? Trekking is part of exercise so let me trek, I won’t die for trekking. The body needs it from time to time, after all”, he stated.
For Mr. Joseph Ekelue, an Okada rider, “I have bought two liters of fuel today at N250 and I bought it separately yet I don’t have any money in my pocket, if I drop you off I will go home and park my Okada. I think it’s better for me because I am not making any money today at all. It is just a mere waste of my time because I don’t think the people will pay N150 per drop in these hard times.”
*Photo shows a fuel nussle in a car.