A litre of fuel now sells for N250 in most filling stations owned by the independent petroleum product marketers in Enugu and environs, NAN reports.

The report said filling stations in the city on Sunday, December 24, was sold for N250 per litre.

The product was still sold for the official price of N145 a litre in Total, Oando and NNPC filling stations as well as the filling stations of other major marketers.

The Manager of one of the independent marketers' filling stations in New Layout, Mr Chidi Ugwu, said the increase in price was due to the recent difficulty in getting the product from the Port Harcourt depot.

"When the supply at the Port Harcourt depot normalises, the price will gradually return to normal," Ugwu assured.

The situation has led to increase in transport fare in the city as taxis now take N80 for a drop instead of N50.

A commercial bus driver in Agbani Road, Mr Obinna Nnadi, decried the situation, saying that the independent petroleum products marketers have subjected Nigerians to unnecessary hardship.

"Government agencies concerned must stand up against this yearly exploitation since it is clear that this is man-made and artificial scarcity," Nnadi said.

A resident of Achara Layout, Mr Linus Obidike, said that the development has made it impossible for those with relatively large families to travel to their villages to celebrate Christmas.

"It is already telling on transporters as they are currently witnessing gloomy business this season.

"As I speak to you, I should have travelled but I have shelved it due to the high cost of transportation," Obidike said.

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However, the NNPC has said that it has flood the market with enough petrol to last for 20 days, although the effect of the abundant supply is yet to be seen across the country.