Fuel Scarcity: Hoarding and Black Market Added More Salt to the Injury

Oluwatoyin Hawal Momolosho 

Nigeria is experiencing a shortage of fuel, causing dissatisfaction among the population due to a price increase from 680 to 900. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has attributed the scarcity to logistical challenges and promised that the situation is being addressed. Despite this assurance, the public remains displeased with the price hike. The fuel shortage has notable economic consequences, such as heightened transportation expenses and inflation.

In Kwara State, the increasing cost of petroleum has caused anger among the people. Prices at major fuel stations range from N625 to N650 per liter, while other stations charge between N750 and N1,000 per liter. The public is upset about the sudden rise in fuel prices, which has resulted in higher transportation costs, with short trips now amounting to N200 or more.

The illegal sellers of petroleum products in Kwara, Nigeria, operate outside the law by selling fuel and other petroleum items in unregulated markets or on the streets. This activity is often driven by fuel scarcity, price differences, or economic circumstances. They typically obtain products from unauthorized sources, such as smuggled fuel or diverted subsidized fuel intended for official stations. Similar to other locations, black market sellers in Kwara charge higher prices than official stores, causing customers to feel confused and place blame on both the government and the black market vendors for the current fuel shortage. However, this illicit trade presents risks such as unregulated pricing, environmental dangers (due to improper storage and disposal), and support of illegal activities.

In Kwara, Confidence News Reporter reached out to black market sellers to learn how they can make it easier for people to buy fuel. The current situation of long queues at petroleum stations is unsustainable. If black market sellers reduce their profit margins, it would greatly benefit the people of Kwara and Nigeria. Exploiting the situation further only harms everyone in the end. The sellers' goal should not be to prioritize their profits over the well-being of the people.

At the Filling Station 

On thursday morning at the NNPC filling station in Adewole, Ilorin was bustling with people queuing up for fuel. I was at the station on a bike, waiting for my turn to refuel and continue on to my destination. A man caught my eye as he stood with multiple gallon containers by his side. Despite having already filled up his own tank, he was waiting for a ride to take him to his destination. Intrigued, I approached him to inquire about his surplus fuel. He explained that he resells fuel in a village on the black market.

Gbenga Yusuf operates as a black market seller in a village lacking sufficient filling stations. He expressed that his decision to sell fuel stemmed from personal experience within the community. The first instance his bike ran out of fuel in the area prompted him to consider initiating this business. Yusuf realized the necessity for easily accessible fuel to prevent delays when commencing his journeys. This experience inspired him to establish the venture, hoping that it would serve as a convenient solution for those passing through the area.

According to him, "The addition of salt to the black market comes in various forms. From my perspective, I sell fuel at a regular price because I want to avoid a situation where I have fuel today but not tomorrow, which would drive customers away. Some black market sellers view the fuel shortage as an opportunity to profit, unlike me. In this scenario, I believe that we are our own problem and we should strive to make things easier for each other to foster mutual growth. Peace is essential for society, and it is up to us, especially business owners or partners, to cultivate it, Yusuf concluded.

Bike man Complaints 

Murphy Abiodun lamented on the government for making citizens lives hard. We had been here for over two hours yet no one even care wether we are here. The manager just go inside and someone speaks to him as a responsible customer, but from his reaction, I see nothing but no fuel for us untill evening.  But if not of the government fault, we will not been in this mess. Anyway، we pray for changes soon.

When this fuel scarcity is about to happen, I had at least an amount of money that can use to like 20 liters, but I look back to get the impression that I am to injure other people and forget about it that we will struggle it out together. Now, I am blaming myself for not doing that earlier before now because what government said. Government said, the emergency scarcity of fuel happened in order to ensure the circulation of fuel across the country. But now, the you think this emergency scarcity of fuel is giving us tough time or ease the citizens. May God help us, he ended.

Ahmed Basiru assisted Abiodun from where he stopped. He mentioned that in a country where fuel serves as a source of revenue, it is still difficult for us to obtain it. Why do we in Nigeria always struggle with what we possess, while this never seems to occur in other well-known countries? In Nigeria, we are the foundation of all agricultural means, we are abundantly blessed with it, yet in the end we continue to suffer from it. Even in Saudi Arabia where most of the land is desert, they strive to consume fresh agricultural products to support their lives and they enjoy it more than we do, despite having it readily available. Why does this situation only happen in Nigeria? Are we not serious about our lives or what? This question needs to be addressed by the government.

According to Bashiru, he said, I no longer have anything to say, but Nigeria needs to alter its ways to create significant opportunities for the youth. The actions of today's youth are influenced by the elders, who serve as their role models. Ultimately, this could lead to chaos. The responsibility falls on the government and other leaders.

The government is responsible for the challenges in the country, but as citizens, we must also take some accountability. If prices rise, they are unlikely to return to normal. To achieve peace and prosperity, we must reflect on our own actions before blaming others. If we behave poorly, our leaders may follow suit. Despite the situation seeming overwhelming, with united support, we can overcome difficulties. Abdullahi joins the conversation as a concerned citizen.

Calls for Government Intervention 

Yusuf Kehinde Moridiat, a student at state university  recounted how the fuel scarcity nearly caused her to miss an important examination, underscoring the widespread impact of the crisis. She emphasized the urgent need for government intervention to mitigate the adverse effects of the fuel shortage, especially on vulnerable individuals facing financial hardship. Additionally, bus drivers seizing the opportunity to exploit passengers by raising fares exacerbates the burden on already-struggling citizens.

As the nation grapples with the repercussions of the fuel shortage, it is evident that immediate action is imperative to alleviate the plight of the populace. While the government bears significant responsibility for addressing these challenges, citizens must also remain vigilant and hold leaders accountable. By fostering unity and solidarity, Nigeria can navigate through these turbulent times and emerge stronger and more resilient.

Adekunle Famuyiwa

An avid writer, campus Journalist, researcher and budding Lawyer. Currently a 500-level student of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state, and the Editor-In-Chief of Observers Mag

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form