Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Signs of fuel scarcity in Cross River State started being noticed late Monday, hours after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu hinted that there was no more provision for fuel subsidy in the nation’s budget.
Most of the fuel stations in Calabar, the state capital, closed shop and stopped selling their products to motorists and other users of the commodity.
A few of the fuel stations that were still selling to customers had to contend with long queues of motorists, and many of the people buying fuel in jerricans for domestic and commercial purposes.
As of Tuesday, the situation has worsened with fuel selling for between N400 and N550 depending on the discretion of the marketers.
While a few of the major stations along MCC and Murtala Mohammed Way sold for between N400 and N500, a few others, especially those in Calabar South sold for between N500 and N550 even with long queues in the stations.
A manager in one of the major stations along Marian Road said they stopped selling based on directives from the management.
“We have been told to stop selling to the public because we don’t know what will come next with the removal of subsidy,” the marketer who pleaded not to be mentioned said.
A taxi driver, Mr. Okon Etim, said he was almost caught napping after the announcement, but be moved swiftly to a fuel station at Atu Street where he met a small queue, and was lucky to buy at N280 Monday evening.
“I bought plenty fuel at N280 on Monday in Atu Street after I saw a small queue. The fuel will serve me for some days,” he said.
A few young men and women were seen at different spots selling at black market rate for between N650 and N750 amidst obvious low patronage.
Generally, despite the scarcity of petroleum products, transport fair within Calabar metropolis remains stable at between N100 and N200 depending on one’s route and distance.