Economic hardship being experienced in Imo State has been compounded following the strike by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) now sells for N500 per litre at the black market. This situation has consequently caused over a 100% rise in transport fares across the state.
Members of the Imo State chapter of IPMAN had on Wednesday commenced a strike over refusal of the Imo State government to honour a court judgment to pay compensation to a member of the association whose fuel station was demolished by the past administration of former Governor Rochas Okorocha.
As the strike enters its 3rd day, black market operators are now having a field day, with a litre of fuel now costing between N500 and N550. Fuel stations operating in the state have all shut down. Our correspondent who monitored the situation on Friday reports that commercial bus drivers as well as motorcyclists have tripled their fares.
Saturday Sun learnt the black market operators go to neighbouring states of Anambra and Abia to source PMS at of 240 per litre and then sell at N500 /550 per litre. Transport fare from Owerri to Orlu is N1000 as against normal price of N400 . This situation has left many passengers stranded.
One of the passengers at Warehouse Orlu Park lamented the sudden hike in transport fares. “I had to pay N1000 as against N400 to Ideato because of this, and as you can see for yourself, most of the passengers are already stranded as they cannot afford the increase,” he lamented.
Another traveller who identified himself as Ugonna decried a situation where the state government does not have interest in the welfare of her citizens.