They are back in business and every day, they smile to the bank. The pain of motorists, who drive many kilometres round the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in search of fuel, is their gain.
In a twist of irony, what the motorists could not get at many of the filling stations in the FCT is easily available on the streets; albeit at a steep price. If any of the motorists is ready to pay between N200 to N250 per litre for petrol, he could fill the tank of his vehicle for as often as he desires.
For majority of them, it is a tough choice. You either cough up the steep price of the product at the black market or have fuel in your car to move around or you roam the FCT in perhaps a futile search for where to get petrol at the official price of N97 per litre.
Petrol, which has become a scarce commodity at the filling stations owing to the biting fuel scarcity that has gripped the nation’s capital like other parts of the country, is one of the most available products on the streets of Abuja today. Major roads and streets have been turned into mini-markets for the sale of fuel in jerry cans.
Fuel hawkers have become a common sight in town and they are making a killing from their business. Despite various laws that ban fuel hawking, the itinerant sellers of the commodity have been operating with impunity, daring the state, which created the lacuna that makes their business to thrive, to arrest them.
However, their activities have become a major source of concern to FCT residents, many of who fear of a possible fire outbreak that could arise from their careless way of handling petrol. With the dry season already around the corner, some of the residents have expressed fears that the activities of the fuel hawkers are a disaster waiting to happen.
The business is so lucrative now that some people have switched trades. For instance, youths who had hitherto been hawking other goods such as sachet water and confectionery as well as commercial motorcyclists have abandoned their former trade to hawk fuel along many FCT streets.
THISDAY checks round some major streets in Abuja showed that the hawkers are having a field day displaying and selling fuel openly to vehicle owners in flagrant disregard to the serious danger such a highly inflammable product poses to road users and residents.
Many of these youths could be seen lining up every street corner in the capital city with jerry cans of fuel and literarily chasing vehicles to make a sale. READ MORE…
The rise of petroleum products in Enugu is reported in the latest Vanguard article on the matter.
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