Buhari fails to end worsening fuel scarcity across Nigeria


In what appears the worst fuel crisis in the country in recent history, petrol users in Nigeria have for two months faced an unending scarcity and price hike of the product.

The confusion is amid rising prices in filling stations and a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC that seems bereft of ideas on any immediate solution.

The fuel scarcity has continued despite proclamations by the petroleum minister, President Muhammadu Buhari; the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, the NNPC chief, Maikanti Baru; and other officials.

A committee set up by the president and headed by Mr. Kachiwku has also failed to put an end to the crisis.

The queues first resurfaced across the country about two months ago in early December 2017 in the wake of a threat of strike by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN.

Since then, and throughout the Yuletide period, the crisis has persisted, with long queues of anxious motorists, a common feature of most retail outlets.

The NNPC and the fuel marketers have continued to trade blames on who is responsible for the scarcity, resulting in rising retail prices averaging about N200 per litre in most states, except Abuja and Lagos where filling stations in the metropolis sell for N145.

While the NNPC accuses the marketers of sabotage by diverting supplies to the hinterland and across the borders to neighbouring countries for profiteering, the marketers in turn blame the NNPC for not having sufficient stock to take care of growing demand.

This week, the long queues worsened across the country following another threat of strike by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD.