The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has expressed deep concerns about the grueling fuel situation in the state which “has exposed the people to untold hardship in the past few days”.
Baring its mind through the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Rt. Hon. Ime Okon; the Lawmakers claimed the understanding that “the business of fuel distribution is in the hands of private individuals and almost solely controlled by non-government enterprises”, but expressed believe “that government and stakeholders in the distribution subsector can make relevant interventions to end the crisis and ameliorate the sufferings” of the people.
Barr. Ime Okon announced that following complaints lodged by people in the last three days, “the Speaker has accordingly directed the House Committee on Petroleum Matters to immediately summon stakeholders and interface with the groups whose grievance” they learnt, “is behind the artificial scarcity. Instant solution has to be proffered”, he said.
He called on marketers and distributors of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to in the meantime “quickly sort out their private issues and make the products available to the people while they dialogue with concerned parties”.
“It is unacceptable that certain individuals and groups will tower their private interests above the common good of the generality of Akwa Ibom people, subjecting everyone to this level of hardship for whatever reason. Fuel distributors should please reconsider the pains the people are going through and put public convenience ahead of theirs”, the Lawmaker said.
In a related development, our reporters gathered that a litre of fuel now sells for N200 in Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom State.
“Tricyclists, Motorcyclists and commercial drivers who have been praying for this opportunity have immediately topped-up transport fare from 50 to 100 naira”, a commuter said.
“You can imagine that IBB to State secretariat is now N70”, he continued.
Meanwhile, one of the commercial drivers found on a long queue along NNPC fuel station at West Itam had this to say: “It’s not our faults that the transport fare has doubled. What do you expect when you come out to line-up for fuel from 5am, only to be attended to at 8 or 9am? By that time, there’s nobody to pick on the road again and you must meet the target of your employer, for those who are driving for someone”.
“Also, the fuel is no longer sold at N145. On Friday, it was N170, Saturday it was N190 and today (Sunday), it is N200. Who knows tomorrow?” he questioned.