Abuja - The ongoing scarcity of fuel has seen the illegal market for the commodity flourishing in Abuja, the country's capital city.
As fast as the shortages have raged, illegal street hawkers, also known as black marketers are making the most of the situation and making a killing.
The illegal retailers operate deviously spread across flashpoints and major roads where filling stations are located.
A survey by CAJ News established that the petrol street hawkers are plenteous around Area 11, Area 1, Beggar junction, Banex Junction and along Kubwa expressway.
A street hawker, Abubakar Sa'ad, who hails from Zamfara State, said he had abandoned his job as a cobbler at the lure of petro hawking.
This, he said, was because of the lucrative nature of the illicit business.
"I am from Zamfara State, where I was a cobbler before I started selling fuel," he said.
He explained the modus operandi of the illegal fuel hawkers.
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"We normally buy the fuel from the filling station at the rate of N1 600 or N1 800 per 10 litres with assistance of fuel attendants at the filling station and sell for N2 000 to motorists, most who cannot stand the long hours I the queue and the tension," Sa'ad said.
The offial price is N87 per litre.
Another hawker, Aminu Ibrahim, said motorists patronized the hawkers for convenience.
"The motorists cannot in the winding he queues for several hours," he said.
A commercial motorist, Samuel Dipo, said while it was easier to secure fuel from the hawkers the price they charged offered negative returns.
"Government must find a permanent solution to the problem," Dipo said.
Nigeria, the continent's biggest producer of crude oil, and Africa's largest economy, is battling a shortage of fuel in the markets.
The petrol shortage is said to have resurfaced as a result of the refusal of independent oil marketers to load fuel.
The independent marketers are said to have stopped loading the product because the Federal Government overlooked them in the recent payment of subsidy arrears.
Critics argued the major authorities responsible for regulating the downstream petroleum sector such as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), have failed to take any significant steps toward addressing the crisis.
- CAJ News