Residents of Magama, Jibia local government area has lamented over unavailability of Petrol in the area, which they said is causing untold hardship to them.
Recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service had last week banned the sale of petroleum products at filling stations that are 20 kilometres to the border with neighbouring countries.
Daily trust report observed that some people are cashing in on the situation selling a litre for as much as N400 instead of the official price of N145, noting that the situation was getting worse by the day and affecting their social and economic activities.
Mohammed Zubairu said: “We drive 47 kilometres to Katsina town to buy petrol and those who cannot do that have to resort to buying the costly one here.
“The petrol station, immediately after hearing the announcement, shut down and now sells at odd hours at N250 per litre,” he said Umar Aliyu, a commercial motorcyclist, said the scarcity was adversely affecting their business as they would have to go to Katsina to buy the product.
A commercial bus driver, Hassan Musa, said he was forced to increase fares, which is affecting patronage as some people have now restricted their movement to only attending important functions.
Irrigation farmers, who use petrol to power their pumping machines, also complained that the ban was threatening dry season farming in the area.
However, a resident, Saad Mohamed, called for the understanding of his fellow compatriots saying the decision was in the best interest of the country.
“I can tell you from Cotonou (in Benin Republic) passing through settlements in Niger Republic there is no where you buy fuel at filling station. It is all sold by the road side. And all this is smuggled from Nigeria.’’
He, however, called on the government to strengthen its monitoring mechanism in order to plug all points where the commodity is being smuggled out of the country.
“Government should also arrest and sack any official who allows these products to be smuggled out to serve as a deterrent to others. This will stop the smuggling” he added.