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Residents groan as fuel, water scarcity persists in Sokoto

Residents of Sokoto and environs are facing difficulties with intense scarcity of fuel and potable water amidst high temperature of over 42 degree Celsius.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the situation has subjected people to harsh and miserable conditions in the state.

NAN reports that some commercial motorcycle, tricycle riders and commuters have abandoned their businesses due to the lack of fuel.

NAN Correspondent, who monitored the situation, reports that most of the stations were out of stock of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol.

Few stations selling the commodity are charging between N750 and N1,200 per litre, while black marketers are selling the products on the streets at N2,000 a litre

Commuters, Malam Haruna Muhammad and Jami’u Afolabi, told NAN on Saturday that they bought a 4-litre gallon of PMS at N10,000 each from street hawkers.

Another motorist, Abdullahi Maigidaje, said he bought a 4-litre gallon of PMS at N8,500 in the morning at Illela road and after returning from Gwadabawa he had no option than to buy the same quantity at N10,000.

Maigidaje blamed petroleum marketers for hoarding the product which has resulted in the scarcity, thereby affecting transportation services.

NAN observed long queues of vehicles at few filling stations across Sokoto metropolis, signalling a scarcity of PMS.

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The condition had affected transportation fares as Sokoto to Kware cost N1,300 against from the old fare of N500 while Sokoto to Illela travelers pay N4,000 against N2,000.

NAN gathered that the situation has also affected interstate transport services, which have risen by between 50 and 70 per cent from the normal fares.

On water scarcity, a cross section of residents urged the Sokoto state government to hasten the implementation of measures announced to address the acute shortage of potable water confronting the state.

NAN reports that taps have gone dry and residents have been sourcing for water wherever available, while government has resorted to supplying water with tankers to douse the situation.

A NAN Correspondent reports that water vendors sell a 20-litre keg at between N120 and N140, complaining that they fetch the water from far places and commercial boreholes.

To assuage the situation, Alhaji Yusuf Maccido, the state Commissioner for Water Resources, on April 5, said the government had set up a committee to rehabilitate water systems.

Maccido said it will overhaul all broken down water pumping engines and ensure the dredging of 72 earth dams in the medium and long term.
The commissioner said funds had been disbursed to the committee to address the situation, adding that some water engineers and experts from Kaduna have been called in to support the state water board in the repair and rehabilitation of the facilities.
According to him, three of the pumping machines in Kware are being repaired to restore water supply to Sokoto metropolis.
He said that the government hopes that in the next three years, the issue of water scarcity would be fully addressed. (NAN)

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Habibu Harisu
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