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Petrol scarcity bites hard on water and transport in Lagos, LASWA MD says

15 May 2015, 18:28

Lagos - The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Friday bemoaned the current petrol scarcity, saying it was seriously affecting its operations.

Mr Olayinka Marinho, the Managing Director of LASWA, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the petrol situation would affect then authority's revenue target for the month.

This is because the scarcity had forced the authority to reduce its number of boats servicing the waterways.

He told NAN that most of its operators now spend several hours queuing to get petrol to move their vessels adding that efforts by others to get petrol had been futile.

Marinho, however, said that the waterway transportation now records more intending passengers in the state due to the petrol scarcity.

Also read: Abuja sees illegal fuel market flourish amid scarcity

"The gridlocks on some major roads in Lagos since last week have caused more passengers to patronise the services provided by ferries from Apapa to Marina and also in Ojo area of this state,’’ he said.

Marinho said that the authority was planning to have its own petrol dumps to stave off challenges caused by frequent petrol scarcity.

"We are going to have fuel dumps in most of the terminals that are soon to be inaugurated by the government.

"This measure will ease some problems as well as reduce expenses boat operators incur to get petrol for their vessels.’’

Meanwhile, some boat operators in the state said that the scarcity had compounded the problem they faced and might increase their fares.

Mr Kayode Poroye, the Captain of SM Marine Nigeria Ltd., said that ``the petrol scarcity is affecting us badly; we don’t get petrol to buy to operate our boats.

"We are also at a disadvantage position compared to motorists because we can’t queue at the filling stations with our boats.

"We queue endlessly with our jerry-cans and have to face hostilities from filling -station attendants who in most cases have declined to sell to people with jerry-cans.’’

Another operator, Mr Ehuwa Orimisan, a Captain with Bell Marine Nigeria Ltd., said that the company had incurred huge cost to buy petrol in recent times.

"We will have to increase our fares or else, our businesses will run aground,’’ he said.

He also noted that operators who had petrol to power their vessels were experiencing better patronage because of the increase in passengers.

Also, Mr Odele Obafemi, a Captain with LSG Express, urged the Federal Government to solve the current petrol scarcity in the country.

"If we increase our fares, we will lose passengers and we want to keep our customers.

"Although, the truth is that we are not making profit again,’’ he said.

Similarly, Mr Little Mercy, a Captain with Dominion Logistic Marine Ltd., said that their operators used to queue at petrol stations even up to late in the night.

"The number of trips we make daily has gone down and at times we have to cancel our operations,’’ Mercy said. 



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