As is the case across the country, residents of Ondo State are experiencing the effects of the fuel crisis. A SaharaReporters correspondent explored many of the major towns in the State, discovering that many of its residents were struggling with the ongoing fuel scarcity.
The correspondent noted that the crisis is worsened by the closure of several gas stations. The cause of these closures is the irregular supply of fuel to these gas stations. Our correspondent reported that the State’s motorists were forced into long queues, and were made to pay high prices for their fuel.
Stations along several major roads in Akure, the capital of Ondo State, displayed N87 per litre on their pumping machine as the official price tag but were actually charging motorists as much as N180 per litre.
A motorist, Temitope Oyelabade, who spoke to our correspondent, accused gas attendants of hoarding the petrol and expressed frustration with the fuel crisis.
“I am sad to be wasting precious time for something that is available in their stock but the manager hoarded the product till the night to sell as outrageous price since nobody would question or queried the station. It is very sad that we have to go through this untold hardship to get fuel in a country that prides herself as the giant of Africa.”
Another user, Funmilayo Adegbiyi, explained that the scarcity of petrol is causing her a great deal of distress, noting that she and her family depend on fuel to power their electronics and other gadgets.
“There is no way this country can move forward if its source of power is still been compromised by those who I would call ‘enemy of progress’. I have no light in my house and I mostly depend on generator to power my gadgets and electronic sets but now I cannot get the product because of the scarcity.”
A close monitoring of these gas stations revealed that illegal petrol vendors, plotting with fuel attendants, are re-selling fuel at extremely high prices to desperate motorists.
Our correspondent reported that some of the illegal petrol vendors backed by street touts would pretend as if they are manning the gate and also use the opportunity of extorting motorists between the range of N100 and N200 before allowing them access into the premises.
“Bros, what you just experienced is not bribery. It is our own way of making little cash since we do not have jobs. We are not begging but many of the motorists know the consequences. If anyone of them refused to give us the money, we will not open the gate for such person”, one of the leader of the touts told Saharareporters.
Already, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed off 20 gas stations in the State for hoarding the product and selling above its loading manifest.
An officer in the Department disclosed that a task force would begin a manhunt for all gas stations selling above pump price next week.