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Jos, Kaduna roadside petrol vendors defy ban

Roadside petrol vendors around Jos and Bukuru metropolis in Plateau State have defied the directives of the Operation Safe Haven which last month placed a…

Roadside petrol vendors around Jos and Bukuru metropolis in Plateau State have defied the directives of the Operation Safe Haven which last month placed a ban on roadside sale of petroleum products.
And in Kaduna where the Kaduna State Security Council on Tuesday banned the sale of petroleum products in jerry cans across the 23 local government areas, the trade still booms, at least in remote parts where hawkers have a field day.
The multi-security Operation Safe Haven in Plateau State had issued a deadline to roadside petrol vendors and illegal marketers to dispose their petroleum products or return them to the petrol stations for custody. OPSH had gone ahead to enforce the ban which saw many illegal vendors complying.
Daily Trust however reports that the roadside vendors have recently returned to the streets selling a litre of petrol for N300.
Commenting on the development, OPSH Media and Information Officer, Captain Ikedichi Iweha yesterday said the raid continues but added that the increasing scarcity of petrol had compelled motorist to still patronise roadside vendors.
“Last week alone, we seized petrol in about eight trucks around the NNPC station and dispensed freely to motorists and tricycle owners. Kerosene was equally dispensed free to women. So the raid continues,” he said.
In Kaduna State where the decision to ban fuel sale in jerry cans was based on legal and security considerations, many around the state, including motorists, motorcyclists and users of generators see the decision as too drastic. They see roadside fuel sale as remaining asuccour to people who cannot queue for days in filling stations to buy fuel.
Our reporter who moved around Kaduna observed that sale of petroleum products still exist in the state’s suburbs. While those selling along busy areas within the Kaduna metropolis have cleared their tables of the jerry cans for fear of being arrested, they hang around to secretly sell the product to customers who approach them.
According to a motorist, Mr. Adeboye Babalola, the ban on roadside sale of fuel may lead to a bigger problem if not handled carefully: “Many of the young guys doing the business are not skilled in other jobs, neither are they employable but this trade has placed food on their tables over the years, taking them away from crimes and other social vices.”
Another resident, Sulaiman Aminu said it is unfair to ban sale of fuel in jerry cans without providing jobs. A barber, John Daniel said the ban will make things difficult for them because of the erratic power supply they are currently experiencing.
On the contrary, some residents have applauded the ban, saying it will go a long way to make the product available to buyers and not black marketers. “It is a welcome development because if the jerry can sellers are banned from selling fuel, the filling stations will be left with no option than to sell to motorists and motorcyclists among other users,” Hajia Halima Mohammed said.
Hajiya Maryam Ahmed, on her part, said Nigerians are so used to doing things the wrongs way and don’t like change.

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