Cooking gas has become scarce in Ebonyi state following the closure of about 16 major gas stations in Abakiliki, and its environs, Daily Trust reports.
It would be recalled that the state governor, David Umahi, had last week directed that all illegal gas stations and outlets across the state be shutdown immediately.
Umahi insisted that all gas stations and outlets must meet the approved standard set by the State Capital Territory Development Board (ACTDB) and Department of Petroleum Resources, (DPR).
Our reporter gathered that this development is causing untold hardship to cooking gas users as hundreds of residents were on Monday spotted on streets and major roads in Abakiliki, the state capital, in search of where to buy the product.
Our reporter also observed that 9 out of the 10 major stations visited in the state capital including Hariz, Dandilas, Lopa, among others were seen under lock and key with state government’s inscription: “Under Seal.”
The situation has made dealers who were not affected by the directive to increase the price of cooking gas, as they now sell at N375 per Kg.
Our correspondent who went round Abakiliki metropolis, essentially the major roads like Ogoja road, old Enugu road and it surroundings observed that major stations were affected by the state government’s directive.
But a gas attendant, whose station was affected by the directive, simply identified as Chukwudi told Daily Trust on Monday that the closure was not because of environmental compliance but huge tax rate introduced by state government.
He further alleged that the new tax rate runs into over N43 million annually for major gas stations in the state.
Findings, by our reporter, have however revealed that some consumers who could not get cooking gas, have reversed to the use of kerosene.