Nigerian Fuel crisis opens gateway to Black market devils, causing distress to Economy and commuters.   

17 Feb 2022: Earlier this month, the state-owned energy company and the sole distributor of petroleum products rejected a bunch of cargoes that were unsuitable for domestic consumption due to the high methanol content. This has opened up a can of worms in the nation, as this has resulted in long queues at gas stations, and several commuters stranded due to the elevated prices of travel.

A commuter, Cynthia Favour, 28, complained that the scarcity has led to an increase in the cost of going to the office. “I used to spend 200 naira a day to get to work and back, but now I am spending 1,000 naira,” she said.

The fiasco has caused an “unnecessary shock” to the Nigerian economy that could hamper the economic growth and possibly lead to a rise in inflation as well.

Statistician-General Simon Harry said Tuesday. “It is a negative signal that is capable of affecting not just the inflation rate, but also other macroeconomic variables,” he said. 

In a country where almost 40% of the populations lives on less than $1.90 a day, 15.6% inflation in itself is quite a high, and any further rise could make it very difficult for the common man.

Nigeria imports its gasoline requirements and heavily subsidizes consumption domestically.

Although the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. has since ramped up imports to close the supply gap, gas stations across the country are still not getting enough fuel to sell. This has thus led to a thriving black market where the product trades for about five times the official subsidized prices of 165 naira/liter. 

The fuel crisis is “decimating income revenues for ride hailing drivers,” said Justin Curtis, 35, an Uber driver who, as at 11.30 a.m. local time, said that he had been in a queue for about 18 hours having spent the night at the gas station. 

“We are losing money and our customers are also stranded.” 

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