Nigeria fuel crisis paralyses operations in Lagos and Abuja

By Mohammed Momoh logo_new Africa Review

The one month fuel shortage in Nigeria has hit the peak, interrupting economic and social activities, with government blaming oil marketers as arm twisting government to earn illegal monies.

Motorists rush to buy petrol in Abuja during an earlier fuel shortage. PHOTO | AFP
Motorists rush to buy petrol in Abuja during an earlier fuel shortage. PHOTO | AFP

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the finance minister, said oil marketers were demanding a huge foreign exchange differentials from government, causing a standoff between the two.

Nigeria — Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation — has been increasingly hit by fuel shortages in recent weeks because of a long-running row over controversial subsidy payments.

Despite being Africa’s biggest oil producer, Nigeria lacks domestic refineries, forcing crude to be exported and products such as petrol and diesel to be imported.

To keep costs to consumers low, the government sets prices below the market rate and pays the difference to importers. More…