Fuel Scarcity: Okada Operators Allege Extortion By Security Agencies | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Fuel Scarcity: Okada Operators Allege Extortion By Security Agencies

Posted: Mar 30, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Ejikeme Omenazu, Lagos

Security agencies in Lagos state are exploiting the worsening fuel scarcity to make brisk business at the expense of consumers, especially commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as okada riders.
The Lagos State Chapter of the Okada Riders and Owners Association alleged that security agents now arrest them on flimsy excuses and extort money from them.
Comrade Godspower Aguh, Chairman of the association alleged that, “Our members have now turned to their workshop. Whenever they need money, they come for us. Whenever they hold us due to any flimsy reason or a minor offence, they force us to pay as much as N5, 000.
“If you do not have that amount, they will take you to the police station where you will pay N10, 000. We are calling Gov Ambode and the Lagos State House of Assembly to come to our aid,” he added.
Comrade Aguh, who threw the accusation after the association’s emergency meeting in Lagos, on Monday, told Independent that the okada operators are operated at a loss because they bought fuel at an abnormal exorbitant price of between N140 and N150 per litre, even as commuters insist on paying the normal fare.
According to him, “The current fuel scarcity is hitting all Nigerians, including the okada operators, very hard. We now buy fuel for as much as between N140 and N150. But the passengers continue to insist on paying the normal N50 or N100per drop. Thus we are operating at a loss.”
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, who would ensure that fuel is made available to Nigerians, as the present arrangement has not proved satisfactory.