Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, is now selling at between N260 and N270 per litre in Awka, the capital of Anambra state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent, who monitored fuel availability and price situation on Thursday, reports that the cost of transportation has sharply increased in response to the hike.
The NNPC mega and mini retail outlets in Awka were closed to customers as they had no products while only private marketers’ outlets were selling with few vehicles queuing up to buy petrol.
Some motorists in the town expressed concern that the price of petrol had continued to rise without anybody coming to their rescue.
They accused the marketers of arbitrarily hiking prices because Christmas and New Year celebrations are near.
NAN reports that fares for intracity shuttle had increased by 100 per cent as transporters now collect N200 for distances that cost N100 in the last.
Mrs Jane Oranu, a civil servant who lives in Onitsha but works in Awka, said a one-way fare which was N300 now costs between N750 and N800.
Oranu said the increase in transport fare had put an additional burden on household finances.
She called on the Federal Government to intervene in the petrol price issue and save the masses from unbearable hardship.
In a reaction, Mr Chinedu Anyaso, Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Enugu Depot Community, blamed the price increase on cost of procuring products.
Anyaso, in charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States, said marketers are now buying PMS at above N240 with N3 loading cost and N15 transportation per litre to their outlets.
“It is not our problem, the price we are selling is reflective of the ex-depot price which is N240, we pay N3 as loading cost and transport to our outlets with N15 that makes landing cost to be between N258 and N260.
“You can see that alternative to what is going on now is to be out of business but we have to remain in business to service our people, especially during this Christmas period.
“It is even affecting our businesses because our sales have dropped by about 50 per cent because customers are not buying, so we are calling on the federal government to supply products massively and directly to marketers and not through these private depot owners,” he said.
Anyaso urged members of the public to appreciate the role of marketers in the Southeast who were making efforts to make fuel available but explained that pricing is not within their control.