Transport fares double as fuel scarcity bites harder

Posted by Transport & Business Express | 16 August 2012 | 3,016 times

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Transport fares have doubled on some routes in the Nigerian capital city of Abuja as the fuel scarcity which started yesterday evening bites harder.

Checks by Transport & Business Express early this afternoon showed that only few filling stations are selling fuel in Abuja and satellite towns such as Gwarimpa, Zuba and Kubwa.

As a result, long queues of vehicles have formed in the vicinity of the selling fuel stations while motorists who were able to buy have jerked up fares.

For instance, a trip from NICON Junction in Maitama to Transcorp Hilton Hotel by taxi (not drop) has gone up to 100 naira instead of 50 or 70 naira as used to be the case. Similarly, buses going to Secretariat from NICON Junction now charge 70 instead of maximum of 50 naira as used to be the case.

Justifying the sharp increase in fares, a taxi driver who spoke with Transport & Business Express said: “We spend two to three hours before we can buy fuel at the filling station. Even so, they are rationing it; you cannot buy more than 2,500 worth of fuel. If you want a full tan, you have to pay extra 500 to the fuel attendant.”

It would be recalled that Transport & Business Express had last night warned of looming nationwide fuel scarcity following a disagreement between the Federal Government and some major fuel marketers over subsidy payments.

The marketers, some of whom were indicted by the fuel subsidy investigation committees, say they have embarked on strike because the Federal Government has failed to pay them for fuel imports. However, relying through the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Federal Government denied the allegation and accused the marketers of blackmail.

Source: TBE

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