Commuters and motorists in various parts of Imo state were on Wednesday, thrown into frustration following a strike embarked upon by the state chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria.
The strike, which cut members of the public unawares expectedly led to a hike in transport fares by the few commercial vehicles and motorcycle operators on the road, who increased their fares above 50 per cent from the normal fares.
While all petrol filling stations in Owerri metropolis were locked, roadside hawkers of the product who sold in jerry cans had a field day as anxious consumers scrambled to obtain the commodity at exorbitant prices.
Commuters, who usually pay N100 fare from such places as Amakohia, Akwakuma to Owerri metropolis now pay N200,000 while those from Obinze, Umuguma, Irete, Orogwe and Ogbaku pay N300 as against N150.
The oil marketers had reportedly reached an agreement with the State Internal Revenue Service for its members who operate within the Owerri metropolis to pay an annual levy of N100,000 while those on the outskirts of the town should pay N50,000.
As of the time of filing this report, only a few vehicles operated on the roads while some business centers that operate their generator sets packed up for lack of fuel to remain in business.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Emelumba said that efforts were on top gear to resolve the matter.