A long-running fuel shortage in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil producer, has sparked widespread outrage, with many residents demanding government intervention.
The removal of contaminated gasoline, which the West African nation’s national oil corporation says was determined to have been imported by four oil marketers, is being blamed by authorities for the shortage of fuel.
The oil regulator has been unable to maintain distribution to retail outlets across the country as a result of the incident.
Lines spilt out of gas stations onto major roads across Nigerian cities on Friday, as motorists waited for hours and nights to fill up their cars.
“I slept with mosquitoes (at the station) because there was no other alternative, a cab driver and father of six who said he waited 14 hours all night for gasoline at a petrol station in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital,” said Chijioke Ngene
Despite being one of Africa’s top crude oil producers, Nigeria has frequent gasoline shortages, pumping an average of 1.27 million barrels per day in November, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Nigeria’s oil exports contributed more than 7% to the country’s 3.4% economic growth rate in 2021, according to the statistics agency.
However, due to underperforming refineries, the country continues to rely on imported petroleum. Several causes have contributed to previous fuel shortage crises, including recurrent strikes and merchants stockpiling the commodity in reaction to government regulations.
To handle the present situation, the Nigerian government has begun a “massive probe to unravel everything.”
Nigerians are wailing over the lack of petrol. Car owners are spending more time at gas stations than on the road, transportation rates have risen dramatically, and employees are finding it increasingly difficult to get to work.
Some operators profit quickly by selling fuel to desperate automobile owners for nearly three times the original pump price.