Commuters and motorists in Anambra State on Tuesday were left in disarray after the sudden spike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol from N530 to N700.
This is also as motorists and other petrol users trooped to different petrol stations and were buying the product in larger quantities, expecting that the hike might get up to N800 from Wednesday.
Petrol stations in major cities of the state such as Awka, Onitsha, and Nnewi sold petrol at N530 per litre as of Tuesday morning before news of the current hike in pump price got to them, Punch reports.
The anxiety started in the afternoon when independent oil marketers operating in the state suddenly shit their filling stations and declined selling for some time when the news of the spike had filtered in.
Reports say the marketers resumed operations later in the evening after their emergency meeting in Awka and quickly adjusted their pump prices to reflect the new price regime.
Consequently, transportation fares suddenly skyrocketed above 30 per cent as commuters paid N300 for a journey initially N200 in the morning.
Most commuters were surprised and some without enough cash were stranded and were seen trekking to their different destinations in anger.
A tour around filling stations operating along the Upper Iweka along the Onitsha-Owerri Road in Onitsha were selling at N700 per litre.
But NNPCL stations operating along the Awka-Enugu Road and other marketers were seen selling the product between N620 to N650 per litre while it was N690 at some filling stations in Nnewi.
Observation showed that some of the independent sales outlets had earlier closed for business in anticipation to sell higher from Wednesday.
A manager at a petrol station in Onitsha who chose to remain anonymous said, “We received a call from a sister petrol station informing us to suspend operations temporarily and be ready to adjust our meter to reflect the new price that the pump price has been increased by the NNPCL.
“We did not sell fuel Monday because of sit-at-home, but by today(Tuesday), we were selling at N530 before the call came for us to suspend operations pending further developments. And later our head office communicated to us to adjust to N700.”
Reacting to the development, a commercial transport operator in Onitsha, who identified himself as Chukwudi, said, “I am filling up my tank and also buying in Jerry cans so as to keep it and use it for some days because we are suspecting that the price might shoot up N800 by tomorrow.
“This suffering is just too much. This is not what we bargained for. We have no choice than to increase the prices of transportation. I can see many people trekking, they should prepare to trek more tomorrow because that is what the situation has caused.”
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