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Fuel crisis: Abuja hawkers make brisk business, commuters groan

The recent upsurge in transport fare is generating grumbling and uneasiness among commuters in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as fuel scarcity continues to bite…

The recent upsurge in transport fare is generating grumbling and uneasiness among commuters in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as fuel scarcity continues to bite harder countrywide.

Our reporters observed how petroleum hawkers known as black marketers are capitalising on the scarcity to exploit motorists in the nation’s capital.

A tricycle rider, Yunusa Funtua, in Gwarimpa Federal Housing Estate, lamented that he bought a four-litre gallon yesterday at N2,000 from the hawkers, something he said he used to buy at N700 in filling stations.

According to him, the black marketers are making a brisk business out of the fuel scarcity.

In some locations, motorists in the FCT complained that previously the fuel they bought at N2,000 in filling stations had now jumped to between N3,500 and N4,000 from the hawkers. 

Workers are also expressing grievances over the cost charged by cab drivers, saying they were being extorted.

A receptionist, Mrs Grace Juma, while speaking to Daily Trust, questioned the cost of getting to her place of work.

Mrs Juma said, “What is the meaning of this, just to get to where I work I have to pay an extra N50? This doesn’t sit well with me.”

A civil servant, Mariam Hawal, urged the federal government to resolve the issue and make fuel available in the country while labelling drivers of commercial vehicles as “opportunists” seeking to exploit the current situation for monetary gains.

 Mariam said, “The government should please resolve this issue as soon as possible, they should do something about this fuel situation as this situation is not funny at all.

“Drivers are opportunists that just want to make gain out of this, they put two people in the front seat yet they increase the cost of transport.”

By Dalhatu Liman, Daniel Dada & Esther Chukwu