June 22, 2024
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Fuel Scarcity Bites Harder in Nigeria as Businesses Cripple

States across Nigeria especially in the Northern region continue to reel under the strain of fuel scarcity and soaring prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), locally known as petrol. The situation caused a devastating impact on the livelihoods of locals, particularly small businesses, and commuters.

Fuel queues reappeared since Thursday, triggering confusion and concern among motorists which the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), the state-owned oil firm attributed to supply glitches. However, despite assurances, the scarcity persisted, leading to a surge in prices of the product.

In most of the Northern states, several filling stations hiked the price of PMS to over N900 per litre, exacerbating the plight of consumers.

Long queues formed around petrol stations in Bauchi, the capital of Bauchi State in the North reflecting the mounting frustration of citizens. Commuters faced delays and increased transportation costs, while local businesses struggled to cope with disruptions and rising costs.

Small-scale enterprises, heavily reliant on generators due to erratic power supply, faced the spectre of reduced productivity and financial losses.

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Danladi Yusuf, a barber in Yelwan Tudu a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, lamented, “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to go about our daily activities. The government needs to find a lasting solution to these persistent fuel hikes.”

The fuel scarcity has sparked concerns about its broader economic impact, with analysts warning of potential inflationary pressures if the situation persists.

Shehu Musa, a commercial driver, bemoaned the crisis, stating, “I will park my car because I can no longer afford to work all day just to spend everything on fuel and save nothing.”

A visit to fuel stations in Bauchi revealed selling prices of petrol ranging from N860 to N900 per litre, with some stations remaining closed.

Energy Afrique gathered that a vessel had commenced the discharge of petrol in Warri, Delta State, on Friday. However, dealers cautioned that it would take several days before the product reached the Northern states, prolonging the fuel scarcity.

Oil marketers cited a shortage in PMS supply as the root cause of the scarcity, despite assurances from the NNPCL.

The Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, Olufemi Soneye, in a statement, urged motorists not to engage in panic buying, assuring them of sufficient petrol stocks.

As the scarcity persists, residents in the states remain in the grip of uncertainty, with businesses and commuters bearing the brunt of the crisis.

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