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Cross River residents groan as fuel scarcity cripples Calabar, other locations

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The scarcity of petroleum products has worsened on its fifth day in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, even as economic, social and political activities are grounded ar the weekend.

Passengers and other commuters in the metropolis were stranded as workers, traders and other businessmen and women, as well as Christians, could not board vehicles to their various destinations.

DAILY POST correspondent, who visited some fuel stations in the Cross River State capital, observed that the gates of the stations remained closed as they have no fuel for customers. However, few stations that have the products, recorded long queues with a litre of petrol going for over 100% increase (N300 per litre).

Fuel at the black market (unauthorised selling points) sold at N400-N500 per litre. Similarly, fuel in Odukpani, Akpabuyo, Akamkpa, Biase and Yakurr local government areas was also not available.

It was gathered that filling stations in these local government areas had fuel last on Friday. A customer, George Akpan, said, “Last time I bought fuel was on Thursday at the cost of N145 a litre but it’s now N300-N350 or more per litre. Black marketers sold it at N350-N400 a litre.

“The scarcity of the product has already caused untold hardship on the residents of the city. It has taken a more dangerous dimension now, especially at this weekend ”

Mr Nakanda Udobong said that the increase has affected the economy of the state as the prices of food stuff have increase tremendously. The cause of transportations, he said, has gone up by 150%. A distance of N50 now goes for N150 or more, “Already, the cost of transportation from one point to another has increase tremendously,” he stated.

Udobong, resident of Calabar South, lamented, “The reason for the scarcity has not been known but we want federal government and President Buhari to intervene urgently so that Nigerians would have blissful week ahead”.

Sadly, the prices of garri and rice, the most stable foods for people of the state, have gone up by 100-200 per cent. More importantly, the scarcity of the product not only hindered economic growth but has caused inconveniences as the long queues hindered traffic flow in the city making some streets impassable.

Also speaking, Chief Eyo Okon said that the scarcity has affected economic activities in the state. “People were seen roaming various filling stations in the state looking for the products that are no where to be found or available to buy.”

Meanwhile, the fuel scarcity has spread to central and northern districts of Cross River State.

The current fuel scarcity may not be unconnected with the state leadership tussle in IPMAN.

The Chairman of IPMAN, Mr. Edet Umana, who was recently inaugurated by the National President of the association in Calabar, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said despite a judgment of the Supreme Court confirming Okoronkwo and by extension all the state executives put in place by him, a Federal High Court in Calabar had given an order defying the Supreme Court.

Umana said the Calabar Federal High Court order of June 19, 2019, which dictated that the national officers of the party be removed, had emboldened a faction of IPMAN refusing to recognize his authority. The faction has gone around to close fuel stations in Calabar, just as tanker drivers loyal to their faction, refused to lift products at the depot.

“The judgment they secured here undermines the subsisting judgment of the Supreme Court and what we are saying is that they must obey the Supreme Court judgment. What they are doing is illegal and you can see the people are suffering,” Umana said.

An independent marketer in Calabar, Dr Okechukwu Uwazie, the Managing Director of Uwasco oil Nigeria limited, who spoke on the situation, said, “By the virtue of our position we are law abiding citizens. What is going on is that some people form a group claiming they want to hijack this oil business.

“I am surprised that if the Supreme Court has given ruling since December 14, last year in a case they took us to court. Why won’t they be law-abiding citizens? Why should they not vacate the office? Why are they not law abiding citizens? Why are they now putting this crisis?

“Mr Edet Umana is now the chairman by Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo government and the order of the Supreme Court. This is my first time of hearing that Supreme Court will give judgment and you will come to a lower court to seek for interpretation,” he said.

The situation has however led to fuel and kerosene scarcity in the state, with residents subjected to hardship and calling for the urgent intervention of the government in the matter.

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NSE crucial market indicators end Friday with 0.03 per cent growth

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Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) crucial market indicators closed trading on Friday with a marginal growth of 0.03 per cent.

Specifically, the market capitalisation of listed equities rose by N4 billion or 0.03 per cent to N13.071 trillion from N13.067 trillion on Thursday.

Also, the NSE All-Share Index appreciated by 8.57 points or 0.03 per cent to 26, 851.68 against 26,843.11 achieved on Thursday.

Guinness led the gainers’ table during the day, increasing by N2.60 to close at N28.60 per share.

Flour Mills followed with a gain of N1.05 to close at N16.25, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria gained N1 to close at N20 per share.

Nigerian Breweries also added N1 to close at N48.50, while Dangote Sugar Refinery increased by 80k to close at N11.70 per share.

On the other hand, Guaranty Trust Bank topped the laggards’ chart, dropping by 90k to close at N29 per share.

MTN also dipped 90k to close at N121.00, while Zenith Bank dropped by 30k to close at N18.85 per share.

Access Bank was down also by 30k to close at N10.50, while NAHCO dipped 23k to close at N2.37 per share.

A breakdown of the activity chart indicates that Access Bank was the most active stock, trading 158.78 million shares valued at N1.69 billion.

Zenith Bank Plc followed with an account of 71.03 million shares worth N1.36 billion, while United Bank for Africa traded 41.49 million shares valued at N317.02 million.

FBN Holdings sold a total of 41.49 million shares worth N282.57 million, while Fidelity Bank exchanged 23.57 million shares valued at N47 million

In all, the turnover volume of shares traded dropped by 24.78 per cent as investors bought and sold 469.99 million shares worth N5.59 billion in 5,594 deals.

This was in contrast with 624.84 million shares valued at N10.02 billion in 6,426 deals posted on Thursday.

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NSE crucial market indicators end with 0.03% growth

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Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) crucial market indicators closed trading on Friday with a marginal growth of 0.03 per cent.

Specifically, the market capitalisation of listed equities rose by N4 billion or 0.03 per cent to N13.071 trillion from N13.067 trillion on Thursday.

Also, the NSE All-Share Index appreciated by 8.57 points or 0.03 per cent to 26, 851.68 against 26,843.11 achieved on Thursday.

Guinness led the gainers’ table during the day, increasing by N2.60 to close at N28.60 per share.

Flour Mills followed with a gain of N1.05 to close at N16.25, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria gained N1 to close at N20 per share.

Nigerian Breweries also added N1 to close at N48.50, while Dangote Sugar Refinery increased by 80k to close at N11.70 per share.

On the other hand, Guaranty Trust Bank topped the laggards’ chart, dropping by 90k to close at N29 per share.

MTN also dipped 90k to close at N121.00, while Zenith Bank dropped by 30k to close at N18.85 per share.

Access Bank was down also by 30k to close at N10.50, while NAHCO dipped 23k to close at N2.37 per share.

A breakdown of the activity chart indicates that Access Bank was the most active stock, trading 158.78 million shares valued at N1.69 billion.

Zenith Bank Plc followed with an account of 71.03 million shares worth N1.36 billion, while United Bank for Africa traded 41.49 million shares valued at N317.02 million.

FBN Holdings sold a total of 41.49 million shares worth N282.57 million, while Fidelity Bank exchanged 23.57 million shares valued at N47 million

In all, the turnover volume of shares traded dropped by 24.78 per cent as investors bought and sold 469.99 million shares worth N5.59 billion in 5,594 deals.

This was in contrast with 624.84 million shares valued at N10.02 billion in 6,426 deals posted on Thursday.

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Border closure: Nigerian govt takes new action

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The Federal Government on Tuesday, inaugurated the executive officers of the National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN), to boost fish availability in view of the border closure.

Mr Edet Akpan, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, said the development was to encourage farmers and other stakeholders in its diversification programme.

“I am sure the national production of fish will not only increase, the quality and export value will also increase”, NAN quoted him as saying.

Akpan said the ministry had always being on the ground to support commodity associations and would not deviate from the norm.

“We also introduce them to different organisations like the Bank of Industry, and then SMEDAN is also helping them in many ways through education and organising them in such a way that they have become very formidable,” he said.

The President of NFAN, Dr Gabriel Ogunsanya, said following the inauguration, more than over five million members of the body were ready to storm the markets with different species of fish to meet both local and international demands.

On border closure, the president said it was a laudable development, saying the association was not resting on its oars in taking advantage of the closure to boost production.

“We will not allow illegal fishing. Some countries come to our coast to steal our fish. We will do all within our powers, work with law enforcement agencies to avoid illegal fishing”, he added.

A member of the Board of Trustees and former lawmaker, Sen. Maina Lawan, pointed out that there were several prospects in the fish subsector that would help improve Nigeria’s revenue generation.

“I know that the border closure is biting hard on many aspects of our daily lives, but there are also higher patriotic callings if you look at the overall price we are made to pay”, said Lawan, a former Borno governor.

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