Stranded commuters lament over shutting down of petrol stations in Anambra

Stranded commuters lament over shutting down of petrol stations in Anambra

Commuters and motorists in Anambra State were stranded on Wednesday following the shuting down of petrol stations across the state.

Most petrol stations in the major cities of Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Umunze, Ekwulobia and other environs were not dispensing fuel on Wednesday morning.

As a result, the limited number of vehicles on the road significantly raised transport fares by more than 200 per cent.

The situation was the same from the Upper Iweka parks in Onitsha to the Aroma roundabout in Awka and other major cities.

Commuters who managed to get on the few available buses were forced to pay exorbitant prices.

While commercial transporters charge N500 for a trip of N200, a trip of N500 costs between N1,200 and N1,500.

The sudden development forced several commuters to trek to different locations.

Many offices and business premises were under lock as of 10:30 amwhile employees were not at sight.

The development generated a lot of mixed feelings among the public as reason for the shutting down could not be immediately ascertained.

While some people believed that the petrol stations were on strike, others believed that it was a deliberate attempt by the marketers to increase the pump price of the commodity.

A tricycle operator plying the Onitsha axis, identified as Tochukwu, said, “I bought fuel from the black market for as high as N1,350 per litre this morning to do work as we discovered that filling stations did not open.

“Some of my colleagues went to Asaba in Delta State to get the product, that is why the prices of transportation are high this morning.

“We don’t know why the filling stations are shut, but we are hearing that it is like they are in a meeting somewhere in Awka.

“We have experienced this kind of situation before and when they came back from their meeting that day, they hiked the pump price of petrol. It’s likely to be the same situation, we are watching as events unfold.”

A commuter at Awka, identified as Chinwe Okeke, said, “I have been standing at the Regina Caelis bus stop, for over two hours waiting to board a vehicle to UNIZIK, but it has been difficult. The vehicles that are coming have been charging very exorbitantly, I don’t know what is really happening.”

When contacted about the development, the Anambra State Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Anthony Ifeanya, said, “There is no cause for alarm and commuters and motorists should not panic.

“It’s likely that the petrol marketers are in a meeting and whenever they are having such a meeting, shutting down petrol stations is a way of compelling every member to attend the meeting. Their meeting usually starts from morning till noon.”

It was also observed that the sudden fare hike also affected both inter-state and intra-state movements.

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