Long queues on Wednesday resurfaced at different petrol stations in Calabar metropolis as the scarcity of the product persists.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the situation, reports that the product now sells as high as N190 per litre in most service stations in the city.
It is also observed that the situation has begun to gradually cripple economic activities in Calabar and its environs.
At Kemsi Petroleum, the product sells for N190 per litre as against the approved pump price of N165 per liter.
A senior fuel attendant at the station told NAN that the price was determined by the cost of the product.
At the Pabpet Petroleum station, the product still sells at the approved pump price of N165 per litre but had long vehicular queues, while customers struggled to gain strategic positions.
A customer, Mr Etiebet Umo, said he joined the queue to be able to buy the product at the approved pump price.
“I have heard rumours of fuel scarcity in the last few weeks in the news so I am not surprised when they told me that queues have resurfaced,” Umo said.
A taxi driver, who identified himself as Friday, feared that the situation would cause untold hardship for residents.
Mr Robert Obi, Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Cross River chapter, attribiuted the scarcity to “supply gap”.
Obi said that three weeks ago, a mother vessel brought contaminated products from Belgium,
in the course of sourcing for another product.
“That is why you see the supply gap. However, that challenge is being sorted out.
“Products have started coming in and by Thursday, the issue will start abating,” he said.
Obi further said that in the last few days, private tank farms sold the product at between N181 per litre and N175 per litre.
“When a marketer buys the product at N181 and plus the expenses to take the product to his station, it will amount to about N185, if you add N5 to sell at N190, I don’t think it is wrong.
“I had reported the matter to the Department of Petroleum Resources, which prefers to come to the fuel stations to harass marketers.
“They should go to the depots, which are the sources of the product but nothing was achieved.
“When I engaged the leadership of the depots, it said the marine logistics charges were increased, so, they were building the additional cost into the price of the product,” Obi said.
NAN reports that major cities in the nation experienced an unprecedented hike in the price of premium motor spirit (popularly called petrol), with the product selling for as high as N700 per litre in the black market.
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