fuel scarcity bites harder in nigeria
Last Updated : GMT 09:26:02
Arab Today, arab today
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Fuel scarcity bites harder in Nigeria

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Fuel scarcity bites harder in Nigeria

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
Lagos - Arab Today

Nigerians have been crying out over non-availability of petrol at filling stations in the a country as well as the prohibitive cost of the product at black markets.

The scarcity of petrol got worse in many parts of the country despite assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the situation would improve.

The fuel scarcity has lingered for over two weeks.

In Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub, many commuters were seen struggling to get commercial vehicles to different destinations, even as some transport operators increased the fares by 100 percent or more.

The city was virtually grounded on Monday as only few vehicles moved about, with many passengers stranded at bus stops, while queues of desperate motorists stretched for kilometers at the few filling stations that had the product to sell, and partially blocked major roads.

The same situation was recorded in the Federal Capital Territory, Osogbo, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Minna, Maiduguri, Bauchi, Ado Ekiti and Benin City, among others.

PAINS

Transport operators in the country on Wednesday lamented the lingering fuel scarcity in the country and urged the government to take urgent measures to resolve the crisis, to forestall a complete breakdown of their business activities.

The operators said the ongoing fuel crisis had become a clog in their regular business operations.

The ongoing fuel crisis had adversely affected transport fares for destinations both within and outside the Lagos metropolis.

The situation has also affected the charges of some commercial motorcyclists who dare to operate along some restricted routes in the state.

Akeem Owolabi, a shop owner said the current situation had brought hardships to his family as his business had virtually ground to a halt.

He urged the government to find lasting solution to the fuel problem lingering in the country and other areas for sometime now.

A lot of potential travelers were on Tuesday and Wednesday stranded at various motor parks in Lagos, Abuja and other major cities because of non-availability of buses which they said was due to fuel scarcity.

He said for the past one week the fuel challenge in Lagos has caused us a lot of problems; up until now, many filling stations are not open.

He urged the government to build refineries in the country so that fuel would be available at all times.

As the nationwide fuel scarcity persists, a liter of petrol now sells for 300 naira in most parts of the country as against the government approved pump prize of 86 naira.

Investigation by Xinhua revealed that the development has led to 100 percent increase in transport fares across the state.

Speaking on the development, a cross section of Lagos residents lamented on the hardship caused by the scarcity and urged the government to do something urgently to end their suffering.

Many citizens also attributed the fuel scarcity to hoarding by some cabal.

GAINS

The lingering fuel scarcity in the country has created a good business environment for food and confectionery sellers to make brick sales at petrol stations.

In most fuel stations in Lagos, some food vendors were seen selling food and sachet water to drivers waiting to buy fuel.

Idris Umar, a sachet water seller, said business was really good at the petrol station, adding that he had sold more than five bags of water this morning.

In another dimension, fuel hawking (black market) business in many parts of the country is now being dominated by women motorists who found business amid the fuel scarcity.

In Lagos, the black market business had been an all-male affair before now.

Consequently, motorists who could not wait in the relatively long queues at filling stations, are compelled to patronize them at a higher price.

Comfort Nwachukwu, one of the black marketers, told Xinhua that she joined the business because she had been unemployed and wanted to do something to survive.

She said while the filling stations sell at 86.5 naira per liter, at the black market, it is being sold for between 300 naira and 400 naira for the same quantity.

According to her, the business had paid off and she wished the situation would continue, but declined to say how much she takes home daily.

Nwachukwu simply said "the business is taking care of our family's daily needs".

The mother of four said she was aware of the dangers inherent in storing fuel in a house, but said God will not allow fire to come near her home or anywhere she kept the product.

GOVERNMENT REACTION

In an attempt to end the scarcity of petrol across Nigeria, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on Wednesday confirmed the payment of subsidy claims to oil marketers.

Adeosun said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that payments be made immediately in order to bring to a quick end to the lingering fuel crisis which has caused great suffering to Nigerian families and businesses.

Few weeks ago, President Buhari submitted a supplementary budget that made provision for the payment of subsidy to oil markets. The budget has been approved by the National Assembly.

Also, Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, has reiterated the commitment of NNPC to end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country this week.

Kachikwu gave the assurance during an official visit to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Tuesday in Abuja.

The minister said PPPRA remained a major stakeholder in the regulation of the sector.

Also, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has assured that the fuel scarcity problem would soon come to an end in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and other cities in the country.

The Executive Director, Supply and Distribution, PPMC, Justin Ezeale, said the government was aware of the problems arising from distribution of fuel in the country, hence its decision to employ proactive measures on the issue.

The executive secretary said seven ships of petrol arrived in the country on Tuesday for onward distribution.

Ezeale said about 294 trucks of fuel were distributed in Lagos on Tuesday, while another 336 trucks of fuel would be supplied tomorrow on Thursday, adding that Abuja had received its own supplies as well.

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