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Unending Power Outage, Fuel Scarcity Cripples Jalingo

Water vendors and dealers of sachet waters across Taraba State have continued to make brisk business as a result of the power outage that has enveloped the state for the past one week.

Just as motorists and commuters in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, and other parts of the state are facing severe fuel scarcity and price hikes.

Most parts of the state has been plugged into darkness for the past ten days following the alleged vandalization of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, YEDC, electricity cables.


The situation, which has not only led to hike in essential goods, was also noticed to have turned water business into a lucrative venture across the nooks and crannies of the state, thereby turning water to an economic good.



At the time of filing this report, a sachet of water that sells at N20.00 as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy is now sold at N40.00 while cold water goes as high as N100 in many part  ofJalingo.


The increase, according to both the manufacturers of the products and the sellers, was necessitated by the power out which, according to them, have as well affected the pump price of fuel.


While a litre of fuel is now sold at N820 in filling stations spread across Taraba, the situation is different in the black market which now sells at N1200 and above per litter.


The situation, which has continued negatively on the people, has been made worse by the water vendors who now sell a truckload of water that contains ten gallons of twenty litters N750 and above.


Some of the vendors who spoke with our reporter, attached their sharp increase to the power outage which they said has made the piping of water from the source so cumbersome.


At the various sachet water factories across the state, the ongoing power outage was observed to have begun to affect production as the numbers being produced on daily bases have diminished.


Some of the manufacturers who spoke with our reporter, said the situation, if not urgently addressed, will compelled them to trim down the numbers of their workers.


The manufacturers who now sold a pack of water numbering twenty saches, at N300, said the power outage caused them to hike the price from N270 to the current prices.


Citing the recent increase of fuel price in the state, as a litre is now being sold at N820, the probability of them jacking the prices of the water from N300 to N350, they said, is high.


A water vendor, who identified himself as Usman Abba, told our reporter that it is not their wish to increase the price of water.

Many residents expressed frustration, stating that the situation is making it difficult to earn a living.

Mr. Albert Ulegha, a transporter, said, "The situation is unbearable. We can't increase fares to match the fuel price hike. We are forced to ground most of our vehicles because it's a waste of time. Filling stations claim they have no fuel, but black marketers have plenty to sell at exorbitant prices."

"Yesterday, we bought fuel at ₦800 and were complaining. This morning, filling stations are closed, and we are buying at ₦1,250. How is that sustainable? We have to ground our vehicles until things improve," he added.

Another commercial driver, Mr. Ben, said he had to offload passengers after loading because the fare he collected could not cover the fuel cost to the destination.


"This morning, I was supposed to go to Gembu. After loading, I discovered the fuel price had gone up, and filling stations weren't selling. I wanted to increase the fare to get fuel from the black market, but they refused. So I transferred them to another park to use a bus," he explained.


Our correspondent observed that the few filling stations with fuel have queues stretching for kilometres, while most people have resorted to using tricycles instead of their vehic

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