• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Fuel scarcity back again as black market sells at N900/litre

Nigeria’s scarcity’ saga: A grim tale of resilience and government failure

Petrol queues, crowded bus stops, traffic and a hike in transport fares have returned to Lagos as fuel scarcity worsens, disrupting transportation and daily activities for commuters.

The petrol queues, which BusinessDay observed last week, have continued to build up and worsen, despite assurances from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) that the logistics issue had been resolved.

Commuters said most filling stations are locked under the guise that they lack product to dispense, while black marketers are selling a litre of petrol between N900 and N1,200 across the metropolis.

Some residents who spoke with our correspondent called on the government to intervene to bring the situation under control so as not to degenerate.

They said the situation has started affecting business activities and making life difficult for people as the black market price of N1,200 per litre is becoming scarce, bringing businesses and other activities to a standstill in the metropolis.

While addressing the issue of fuel scarcity last week, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said that the shortage of petrol in the federal capital territory is due to a logistics hitch impacting the supply of petroleum products across the country, adding that the issue had already been resolved.

However, fuel scarcity has worsened as motorists have been seen spending the night at fuel stations and commuters are left stranded at bus stops due to limited buses and hike in transportation fares.

On May 29, 2023, President Bola Tinubu eliminated fuel subsidies during his inauguration, which resulted in sharp increases in petrol prices nationwide.

As per the requirements of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, the elimination of the fuel subsidy was intended to allow the private sector to import petrol, thereby assuming the monopoly of petrol importation from the NNPCL.

But because private oil companies are unable to secure foreign exchange for importation, the NNPCL has been Nigeria’s only source of petrol imports for some months.