This ongoing fuel scarcity in Nigeria is similar to heartbreak; it will touch everybody. Don’t think that because you don’t own cars, motorcycles, or any other fuel-type vehicles, you are safe; I thought I was, but I was so dead wrong.
The morning after Valentine’s day brought no love as the commuters of Abuja were plunged into a transportation crisis they anticipated but never hoped would come to fruition. The fuel crisis has hindered commercial motorists from performing their primary function of rendering public transportation. This morning, so many commuters were stranded at many bus stops looking for cabs to get to work, their businesses, appointments, PPAs, and the like.
I remember vividly how long I had to wait and struggle my way to Wuse for my business. Surely today, numerous workers arrived late at work, which may have resulted in frustrating a whole lot of set routines.
And why is this happening? Why is there no fuel?
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), there was a significant import of PMS from Europe containing more than the acceptable methanol level. And that has disrupted the fuel supply system. This is why the fuel black market has been booming like crazy, while there are long queues and the petrol stations have nothing to sell.
The NNPC ordered the recall of the contaminated fuel, but there have been reports of vehicles affected by the bad fuel. Some of the oil merchants are also facing similar challenges. The bad product has crippled their businesses after customers reported their vehicles got damaged, it still seems like a long way before the petrol supply will get back to normal.
And what does this mean for the average Nigerian?
It simply means you have to survive before everything normalizes, but how do you do that in this expensive economy? We need to keep moving forward no matter the situation we find ourselves in because we are Nigerians, and that’s just how we have to accept life. If you don’t believe or accept this “Nigerian Mentality,” please make sure you are a registered voter. If not, please read up our post on how to get your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to do some real change in the government.
As they try to get the contaminated fuel off the street, we are left to suffer the consequences.
Here is what’s going on the street:
Cabs are now expensive!
With scarcity in fuel, the few cabs that made it out of the fuel queues are now charging mammoth amounts from commuters. The short rides we take with keke at N50 has now doubled in price to N100.
It’s exorbitant if you really do the math. Every motorist is hiking the price, which falls to us commuters who mostly have to use more than one vehicle type in our movement.
Fuel Price Increment
Major petrol filling stations across Abuja have closed their gates for days now, and the smaller petrol stations are having fun. A liter of fuel sold at N167 now goes for N230 at many petrol stations.
According to a petrol customer at Lugbe, he had to wait in line for over three hours before his car could get a taste of the motor spirit, and even for that price.
The car queues are now getting so long and double-lined that they have been obstructing the free-flow of traffic on major roads and, to some point, expressways. Besides frustrating our pockets, it’s messing with our heads, time, and patience. This is Abuja, not Lagos, and we don’t do holdups here.
The fuel palava is giving us a new breed of experience, which I’ve learned so far.
Nigeria is getting more unpredictable by the hour. Try to fill and top up your tank at any chance you get. Don’t stop at full-tank, buy in kegs as well.
Please have this goal in mind to help yourself and others. If you plan to hoard fuel, please know that you will still suffer for it one way or another.
Remember, you need to store petrol discreetly where it cannot catch fire.
Minimize and Conserve
For those who already have something in their car, be economical with it. If you have a neighbor who has fuel in his car, you both can share rides daily. It’s smarter that way to converse your fuel supply. You won’t have to queue up regularly and block the streets by doing this. Also, the meagre quantity of fuel currently in supply can reach more people who need to get around.
These are trying times in this country; let’s help each other to help each other. Remember that what goes around must come around. It’s just only fuel scarcity, but may God help us.