The petrol scarcity being experienced in major Nigerian cities is taking a toll on commuters in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, as transporters have raised fares on some routes by between 33 and 50 percent.
This is as some filling stations are selling the product for N180 per litre as against N165, with the queues which started last Sunday, now extending even longer and disrupting traffic flow on some roads across the metropolis.
It was observed on Tuesday that transporters charged N400 as against N300 from Iyana-Ipaja to Oshodi, while from Iyana-Ipaja to Ikeja, went up to N300 from N200.
Similarly, commuting from Berger to Ojuelegba cost N400 instead of N300 while passengers from Berger to CMS had to pay N800 instead of N600.
Also, fares from Ketu to Constain rose to N400 from N300, leaving many passengers frustrated and stranded, especially as a limited number of buses were available on the road.
The cost of commuting from Agbara to Mile 2 also rose from N300 to N500 just as hundreds of passengers who hoped to secure a lesser fare were seen stranded at various bus stops, including Okokomaiko, LASU gate and Volks.
Thomas Ayeni, a teacher, lamented the increase, saying it doubled his daily transportation expenses.
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“I am spending double the amount I normally spent on transportation. I am appealing to the government to quickly intervene and ensure the availability of fuel to reduce this suffering.
Uche Ikeagwu, a trader said he normally paid N600 from Iyana-Ipaja to Idumota but that the fare had increased to N800.
“We are three at the shop and this means I have to pay N2,400 for us to get to the shop. I don’t know how we can continue to do business like this.”
However, Akeem Balogun, secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Lagos Satellite Depot, Ejigbo, advised marketers against exploiting customers due to the scarcity.
Balogun said: “Most of them are stocked out and they are going to look for the product now. What we told them is to sell as reasonably as possible. They should not exploit the public.
“We have explained our predicament with the current price of petrol at private depots. We explained that with the current price, there is no way we can sell less than N180 per litre.
“That is why some of our members have shut down their stations because it is not sustainable for them to continue to sell petrol at N165 per litre.”