Fuel scarcity persists in Nigeria almost one year after subsidy removal

fuel N720/litre

Nearly a year after the Nigerian government phased out fuel subsidy, citizens have continued to face persistent fuel shortages and long lines at petrol stations nationwide.

This ongoing crisis highlights the complexities and challenges in the country’s fuel supply chain, despite earlier government promises of improved market competition and efficiency.

Naija News understands that President Bola Tinubu’s elimination of the subsidy on May 29, 2023, aimed to decentralize fuel imports under the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, shifting control from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to the private sector.

However, the transition has been anything but smooth. Private companies struggle to secure foreign currency for fuel imports, forcing the NNPCL back into its role as the primary supplier.

Despite the NNPCL’s assurances of a steady fuel supply, the reality on the ground tells a different story. In major cities like Lagos and Abuja, fuel queues have become common, with numerous stations running dry.

READ ALSO: 119 inmates escape as heavy rainfall wreak havoc on…

This situation has been worsened by logistical issues such as sporadic supply and operational shutdowns at various filling stations, caused by increased haulage costs demanded by tanker drivers.

The impact on prices has been stark. In some areas of Lagos, petrol prices remain fixed, while in others, such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, prices fluctuate significantly, reaching as high as ₦645 per litre.

Similar price hikes are observed in Abuja, where fuel costs vary widely, with some stations charging up to ₦724 per litre.

The NNPCL’s spokesperson, Olufemi Soneye, urges calm and discourages panic buying. He attributes the tight supply to “logistical issues” that he claims are being resolved.

However, industry insiders and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) tell a different tale, pointing to irregularities in supply that hint at deeper systemic problems.

The impact of these disturbances is noticeable throughout the country. Due to the scarcity of taxis and buses, commuters in Abuja and other major cities find themselves stranded or forced to pay higher fares.

This scarcity has not only inconvenienced daily life but has also fueled inflationary pressures, further straining the budgets of Nigerian households.

According to a report from LEADERSHIP, in similarly dire regions like Kaduna and Maiduguri, Filling stations frequently close or hoard fuel, hoping to sell at higher prices amid the uncertainty. This has led to a resurgence of black market activity, where prices can soar to ₦1,000 per litre, placing a heavy burden on consumers.

Despite occasional reassurances from government officials and the NNPCL, the end to Nigeria’s fuel woes seems distant.

As the country faces challenges, there is a growing call for stable and equitable fuel supply systems, highlighting the need for effective reforms in the petroleum sector.

About the author


Leave a Comment