Fuel Scarcity in Nigeria: Matters Arising –Ishola Adebayo

January 12, 2018

Nigeria has been plagued by the menace of fuel scarcity and the exorbitant cost of purchasing the product increases above the regulated price whenever the demand for petrol far outweighs its supply.

It has been a consistent cycle of depression for most Nigerians who have had to endure the hardship associated with fuel scarcity which has had them spending long hours at petrol filling stations during the yuletide season late last year and which still persist into the new year in major cities across Nigeria.

An increase in the rate paid for bus fares is one of the adverse effects of the menace that has defined Nigeria yearly. Commercial drivers have seen the scarcity as an avenue to exploit road commuters who are made to pay 75% higher than they normally would for the price of being conveyed around the metropolis. It tells a story of a society losing its ability to show compassion to the plights of its members.

That been said, the promised change offered as the campaign theme of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has so far been a fantasy to a lot of Nigerians. Has there been a change when the citizens of a country with vast petroleum resources have to suffer to get what is naturally available in their environment?

But, in the midst of the hardships and stress caused by the non-availability and scarcity of petroleum in Nigeria, could there a light at the end of tunnel? Could there be some possibility of deriving positive externalities from the pain of fuel scarcity? Is it plausible that one can unravel good reasons why Nigerian government feels fuel scarcity is beneficial to its Citizens?

Two years into the seat of power, the idea of his change mantra has not been served and the citizens have grown justifiably impatient of the endless wait. They will rather prefer President Buhari who also doubles as the Minister of Petroleum put a stop to many of the issues plaguing the society as opposed to making promises. So far, this has not improved their livelihood nor ended the long queues at the petrol stations. So basically, what has changed?

In a nation of plenty, nothing is beyond eventual shortage – except, of course, the common place endowment of pre-emptive planning and methodical execution which of course is lacking with the present day government in Nigeria.