From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Motorists in Abia State are groaning over the scarcity and hike in fuel pump price since last weekend. No official reason has been given for this.
The hike in fuel pump price has correspondingly resulted in residents being stranded as commercial vehicle and tricycle operators have astronomically increased transport fares resulting in commuters being stranded.
The unannounced fuel price increase has left commuters and motorists in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State shocked and stranded.
Investigations revealed that many filling stations in Umuahia and Aba do not have products, resulting in the few that had, hiking the pump price astronomically.
Checks revealed that fuel dealers in major filling stations in the two cities are selling fuel at different prices ranging from N250 to N300 per litre from the usual price of N165.
The hike in fuel pump price led to increase in transport fares across the state as short distance trip locally known as “drop” within Aba and Umuahia which used to be N50, was increased to N150, while distances that usually cost about N100, has been doubled.
Transport fares from Aba to Umuahia which normally was N600, is now N1000.
In the same vein, inter state fares have equally increased by over 150 percent, thereby increasing commuters hardship.
Intra city commuters were forced to trek long distances, as commercial tricycle operators battle to convince commuters to pay the new fares.
A commercial tricycle operator in Umuahia, Mba Agu said he bought fuel N250 per litre and had no option than to increase his fares in order to meet up.
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