There is fuel scarcity looming in Nigeria. The situation has led to many petrol stations hoarding petrol products and also hiking the fuel pump prices. Nigerians are back to panic buying as usual. Commercial motorists have also hiked transportation prices across the country.
Black market sellers of petrol have commenced selling petrol around major fuel stations in plastic containers! According to reports, some petrol stations have even stopped selling petrol products, which has resulted in scarcity of the products around the country.
In a reaction to this development, the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, appealed to Nigerians to stop panic buying of petroleum products as there is sufficient supply to go round the country.
The sudden scarcity started after the Inauguration speech by President Tinubu, in which he announced that fuel subsidy had come to an end. Nigerians on hearing this trooped to fuel stations, panic buying petrol products in fear that petrol would become more expensive when the subsidy is removed.
The NNPC boss during a media briefing said, the removal of subsidy is a welcome development and further assured Nigerians that petrol is available and to avoid panic buying.
The Nigerian government implemented fuel subsidies to make the price of fuel affordable for citizens of the country, and shield the economy from the inflationary effects of a price hike. Over the past couple of years, the subsidies had been fraught with fraud and have become increasingly unsustainable.
Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest producers of crude oil, but it imports all of its fuel needs because it has zero refining capacity. Inefficiencies and sabotage have led to the shutdown of the nations publicly owned refineries.
There are hopes that the recently commissioned Dangote Refinery, a 650k barrels per day processing facility would help reverse the situation. However, the Dangote Refinery is scheduled to start producing in August 2023. There is an urgent need for a stop gap facility to fill the nations fuel demand needs in the intervening months.