Have you ever wondered why fuel scarcity continue to bite harder by the day despite the assurance by government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC?
Well, the reason is not far-fetched if the investigation carried out by our correspondent is anything to go by.
Her investigation revealed that the marketers of the products especially the managers of the filling stations are making a fortune out of the present situation in the country.
It is surprising to see filling stations which were very busy selling fuel before the scarcity began only to became graveyards overnight and yet the owners are not disturbed especially in the areas of paying staff salaries.
The one that surprise people most is that filling stations don’t have fuel in the day but fuel hawkers otherwise known as black marketers get fuel on daily basis on display for sales. Where then do they get fuel from?
We discovered that most filling stations sell fuel in the midnight to the fuel hawkers between N250 and N300 per litre, hence making between N85 and N135 per litre while the black marketers also sell between N350 and N700 per litre depending on how much they buy it. That is the reason why filling stations prefer to sell to few vehicles in the day and close shop, only to sell the remaining ones to black marketers at night.
The filling stations and the black marketers are making brisk business hence the continuous scarcity and the annoying thing is that, law enforcement agencies are seeing the black marketers hawking fuel by the road side, they don’t challenge them let alone arrest them.
However, the men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have been making frantic efforts to discourage selling of fuels into jerry cans at filling stations.
They were seen seizing fuel in jerry cans while people with cans were sent away. We also got information that some filling stations attendants were arrested for selling into jerry cans.
However, some people are seriously suffering from the scarcity especially the small-scale business owners who use fuel to power their generators. Presently, the power situation in the country is in bad shape hence some people are depending on generators to get electricity but now, they cannot get fuel and their businesses are suffering.
They are not allowed to buy fuel in jerry cans and those who don’t have cars cannot carry their generators to the filling stations because fuel is only sold to motorists, cyclists and those with generators. Many of them have resorted to buying from black marketers while some have closed shops till fuel situation improves.
If government really wants to discourage black marketing, they should make fuel available at filling stations and get those hoarding them arrested and if possible, put a surveillance team in place at night to monitor the sale of fuel.
They can also get the black marketers arrested and ensure that they reveal their source otherwise, we will just be deceiving ourselves in the name of stopping black marketing in the day while allowing the small scale business owners to suffer.