A fuel shortage reached a climax with autos in long queues stoking tempers, clogging traffic and dampening investor confidence in a top oil -producing nation.
Local papers reported paramilitary policemen shooting dead gasoline sellers as the Lagos state governor declared a prohibition on indiscriminate queues that were “ ”, a Kafkaesque effort to get traffic flowing.
Expecting to beat the crowds, some spent the night inside their vehicles. I slept in the back seat, in the auto. I would like fuel,” Kenny Giwa, a 26-year old taxi driver, told AFP.
Giwa’s decision paid off.
But his triumph is going to be short lived. “ ” Giwa said using a sigh If I purchase it’ll continue two days, then I’ll queue again now, “The cost of the black market fuel ”
Nearby, black market fuel hawkers stand holding bits of yellow and hose jerry cans waiting for more affluent — or distressed — motorists that are ready to fork over the sum of money per litre to prevent the head-numbing delay.
“We’re the biggest petroleum producing nation in Africa, this can be greed, lousy direction and corruption said a pharmaceutical researcher purchasing black market gasoline for 250 naira per litre, Muyiwa Oke.
The traffic is insane. At half a tank I begin looking. I do’t need to get stuck
Nigeria is not any stranger to fuel shortage.
Yet this latest round is very poor, a scenario analysts credit to the crash in petroleum costs that are international on pegging the naira at 197 to 199 through import restrictions and capital controls to the United States dollar and obstinate insistence is ’sed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
With US dollars in limited supply, fuel importers are made to visit the black market. Finally, the importers wind up paying the difference with no damages.
In response to the fuel crisis, Nigeria’s Oil Minister of State Emmanuel Kachikwu and international energy companies working in the united states to supply about US$200 million to help finance fuel imports wrangled a deal.
However, he acknowledged, the US$200 million “buffer” just isn’t a longterm solution.
‘VITAL TURNING POINT’
A year ago when Buhari was elected president, a peaceful transfer of power as well as the state’s powerful GDP growth bullish emboldened investors.
But the low cost of Buhari and petroleum ’s unorthodox monetary policy has altered the prognosis drastically.
Petroleum accounts for two thirds of the low costs and also Nigeria’s sales are putting pressure on the authorities. Propping up the money is emptying foreign exchange reserves.
The fuel queues are only one symptom of the market that is failing.
“Nigeria is at an essential turning point,” Anna Rosenberg, manager of subSaharan Africa research at Frontier Strategy Group, said.
It could muddle by means of this year with increase that is comparatively low, however as long as the authorities allows the naira devalue and fixes monetary policy she said.
“The more they will not accomplish this, the worse it’s going to seem.”