Transport fares in Lagos and its environs, yesterday, rose by more than 100 per cent, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, and oil marketers battle to find a lasting solution to the fuel shortage.
This came as Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, yesterday, faulted the 48-hour ultimatum by the Department of State Services, DSS, that oil marketers make Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol available for Nigerians.
Some of the areas visited by Vanguard confirmed the excessive hike in transport fares.
For instance, from Badagry to Mile 2, which cost N400 or N500 before, now costs N1000. Agbara (Ogun State) to Mile 2, which used to be between N300 and N400, now costs N700.
From First Gate, popularly called Igboelerin Junction, on the LASU-Igando road, to Iyana Ipaja, which used to be N300 before, now costs N500, whereas Igando to Iyana Ipaja, which used to be N200, now costs N500. Igando to Egbeda, which was N150, now costs between N300 and N400.
From Igando to First Gate, which was N100 before the hike, is now between N200 and N300. Igando to Iyana Oba that was between N100 and N150, is now between N300 and N500 depending on the situation on the road.
Findings from other routes in the metropolis showed that from Egbeda to Oshodi, which cost between N200 and N300 now goes for between N500 and N600 and during peak periods, it goes to N700, just as Egbeda to Ikeja, which used to be between N200 and N300 is now N500.
From Cele Along to Ikotun, which used to cost N150 is now between N500 and N600 subject to the number of crowd waiting for bus at the bus stop. From Cele to Gate, which cost between N100 and N150 now goes for between N200 and N300.
Commercial drivers in Lagos State have completely phased out N50 and N100 fares, as no distance no matter how short is less than N200.
Findings in Ajah area of the state showed that from Ajah to CMS, which used to be N400 or even N300 sometimes, is now N1000 flat. From CMS to Mile 2, which used to be between N200 and N400 now goes for between N700 and N100, while between Mile 2 and Vangaurd Media Ltd, which used to be N100 is now N200.
PETROAN Chairman, System 2E, Eastern Zone, Sunny Nkpe, made this known on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.
He said until the secret police go after the cartel operating among private depot owners hoarding the essential commodity, fuel scarcity and long queues will persist.
“Let me make it categorically clear here, there is no amount of threat by DSS that is going to change anything. If it must change, they must start from the source, they should go to the private depot operators to find out where for now we are getting products from.
“Until the cartel or cabal in that area is handled or taken care of, we can never get any reduction or fairness in the distribution of the product,” Nkpe added.
He said there has not been a drop of petrol allocation to the Port Harcourt depot in the last six months.
A former President of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Peter Esele, who was also a guest on the programme alongside Nkpe, said the DSS must have been privy to a vital piece of information within the supply value chain to have issued the ultimatum.
“For DSS to come out and issue an ultimatum, the DSS must be privy to some information. Everyone must focus on the DSS to come out with its results within 48 hours or else, DSS may also be a player in the game.
“DSS must tell Nigerians its findings within 48 hours and whoever is behind this should be prosecuted because there are enough products in this country for everybody to get petrol,” he said. (Vanguard)