One man's meat is another man's poison is a popular saying in local parlance.

This could best describe the way commercial transport drivers have resigned to fate over the fuel scarcity in the south east region.

They claim that it is better to buy above the pump price than having total scarcity and extended business downtime.

The federal government had last week announced that the fuel scarcity that ravaged the country during the festive period has been nipped in the bud.

But Bounce News findings revealed that the scarcity is still persistent in the South East with many residents buying above the pump price.

The few filling stations that had the product were selling above the N145 official pump price. 

While some were selling at N200, N215 others were dispensing at N250 without impunity.

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Commuters were seen at many bus-stops struggling to get commercial vehicles to different destinations, even as transport operators increased the fares by 100 per cent.

Motorists lamented that they had to spend many hours in queues for fuel, while some petrol seekers with jerry cans were seen complaining that they had to part with extra cash.

It was gathered that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) last week raided and shut down some filling stations both in Enugu and Ebonyi states for disobeying regulations.

When Bounce News spoke to some drivers, they said they are getting used to the situation as it is better to buy above pump price than not to see it to buy at all.

Uchenna, a cab driver in Enugu said, "We are very happy to buy even if it is above pump price. I don't even think twice before buying. It is the passengers that will bear the additional cost."

Another driver, Kenneth, said the only places you can get fuel at the normal price are the NNPC stations and few others.

A fuel station manager in Ebonyi, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the stations selling the product above the official pump price are not to blame.

“The problem is that the import (of petrol) is being handled almost 100 per cent by the NNPC because private importers have already backed out because the increase in crude price has made the landing cost to enter subsidy.

“When crude price hit $59 per barrel was when you could not sell petrol again at N145 per litre if you are importing on your own. It is only the government (NNPC) that is importing and can warehouse the subsidy.”

The fuel scarcity lasted through the Christmas and New Year celebrations forcing thousands of motorists to spend hours queuing for petrol. 

Although things appeared to return to normal in Lagos and Abuja after the celebrations, motorists in the South East are yet to shout Happy New Year!


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