by crossriverwatch admin
Long queues and unrelenting hassles persist in Calabar and environs as kerosene consumers daily besiege the only two filling stations in the city that dispense the product.
When CrossRiverWatch visited the NorthWest Filling station along the Marian Extension Road, on Thursday afternoon, thousands of buyers who have been queuing for several hours in the sun for the product were being kept under close watch by two mobile policemen bearing weeps and wielding AK 47 rifles.
The unprecedented crowd composed significantly of young girls and women was scuffling and struggling for space on the long queue while their cans and other vessels with which to buy the kerosene were lined up on another queue.
Mrs Elizabeth Okoro who live at Ikot Omin along 8 Miles said she had been on the queue since 5am, yet her turn was still far away from the pump where the product is dispended . “I have been queuing here since around 5am this morning yet I am not sure if I would get the product today because as you can see, my turn is still very far”.
Anesthesia, a 19 year old girl who said she lives at the Eburutu Army Barracks told CrossRiverWatch that she was on the queue yesterday but could not get the chance to buy “When I came here this morning these policemen said the line of yesterday had been cancelled we had to join another one and I am really far away from the pump, I doubt if I will get the product still today”.
Mr James Ella, one of the operators of the kerosine pump said the unprecedented number of buyers at the station is because the North West and NNPC are the only stations where kerosene is sold for 50,00 a litre.“We and NNPC Station along Murtala Highway are the only places where you can get kero at N50.00 that is why you see so many people here”.
He said some people go there to buy at 50.00 and triple the cost of the product “when they get to their shops they sell the product for 150.00 a litre and make a lot of profit so they are ready to wait here for hours”.
CrossRiverWatch investigation shows that because of the scarcity, many filling stations hoard their supply and only dispense at night to people who resell at shops or small tanks for N160.00 a litre.
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