Causes of Fuel Scarcity in Nigeria
In every given problem, menace, or issue, there is always a reason behind it. Having identified fuel scarcity in Nigeria as a problem, could there be reasons while the menace continues to affect Nigerians every given year? What could possibly be the causes of fuel scarcity in Nigeria?
Several factors have been identified to be responsible for the menace of fuel scarcity in the country. Some of these factors will be highlighted below:
1. Every retailer of the petroleum product sees scarcity as an avenue to make more sales and get increase in earnings. Most retailers hoard the product in order to make more quick profits by selling the product for higher rates. For instance, during fuel scarcity, most retailers buy the product from DPR controlled petrol stations at the official price of N87 per litre but may end up selling the same product for as high as N250 per litre. Earlier in 2015, petrol products sold for as high as N600 per litre in #Lagos State. Click the link to read the full story Fuel Scarcity: Petrol Sells For N600 Per Litre In Lagos
2. The loading and distribution of petroleum products across the country has also been identified as one of the causes of fuel scarcity. As at the time of writing this article, the Petroleum marketers do not have unlimited access to petroleum products for distribution to final consumers. This is as a result of the fact that the government only distributes petroleum products to tank farms in Lagos. The current government approach towards petroleum products in the country is that marketers across the country are expected to load petroleum products from only depots in Lagos state.
3. Nigeria is constantly plagued with fuel crises because it’s not using its refineries. We have refineries that can refine 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day, that’s millions of litres of refined product,” says Sunny Nkpe.
Solutions to Fuel Scarcity in Nigeria
As the saying goes, there are no problems without solutions. In every menace, there are corresponding strategies on how to tackle it. Fuel Scarcity may have been plaguing the country, but that does not mean that it cannot be totally eradicated or drastically reduced. So, what the ways whereby this problem of fuel scarcity can be solved?
There are several solutions to the issue of fuel scarcity; some of these solutions would be highlighted below:
1. According to Petrol Marketers, the scarcity of petroleum products would end if the government decentralises the distribution of the product. To solve scarcity of fuel, government must decongest Lagos by sending petroleum products to coastal depots in Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri. “By decentralising supply and distribution from Lagos to other depots; it would become easier for IPMAN members to lift products and distribute to filling stations,” marketers opined.
The Benefits of Fuel Scarcity in Nigeria: By Iyavwaro Dennis
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.
But, in the midst of the hardships and stress caused by the nonavailability and scarcity of the product in Nigeria, could there a light at the end of tunnel? Could there some possibility of deriving positive benefits from the pain of fuel scarcity? Is it plausible that one can unravel good reasons why fuel scarcity is beneficial to us?
I think, though it is very difficult and I may be regarded as inhuman, there are always two sides to a coin; and one can draw positive benefits from the menace of fuel scarcity in Nigeria. It is with this personal conviction that I have decided to crack my brains and try to highlight the benefits of having fuel scarcity.
1) My compound is noiseless because my neighbours’ generators are on sabbatical.
2) Wives are happy because husbands who like hanging out are now staying at home with the family because drinks outside are not cold and no fuel to drive out. Nigerians who normally engage in late night outs also cut their outings short as a result of the fuel scarcity. Fuel scarcity makes things like transport and beer expensive besides it also makes transportation services scarce. In order not to avoid any misfortunes or inconveniences, many Nigerians tend to stay indoors at night during a fuel scarcity.
3) All the housewives are cooking good food because no more Telemundo/Zee world. Chai!
4) Kids are reading their books since the watching of Television programmes requires fuel. Moreover, children now enjoy the added benefit of spending more quality time with their parents
5) No more congestion in network since many people’s phones are off. During this period, Nigerians tend to spend less time on their phones to save their battery life. One would notice that this fuel scarcity makes people spend less time using their phone for browsing or making voice calls and this actually helps reduce network congestion as well as providing better and faster service. It’s good for the short term but for the long term, it could lead to the telecom networks shutting down since their plants run on generators that need fuel too. Many GSM networks in Nigeria gave notice of their impending shutdown of service when the fuel scarcity persisted in May 2015.
6) Browsing & downloading is fast…no one wants browsing to kill his or her battery.
7) Everyone sleeps very early now. Since they normally come back early from work or school and probably have to wake up early so as to trek back to their work or school in the morning, they normally go to bed early so as to save and restore their energy levels. They also go to bed early because there is no fuel for the generators to provide them with electricity till tale in the night and so the generator running time is normally minimized.
8. During the fuel scarcity, I even noticed that I had to trek or walk some distances rather than enter public transport either to save money or time as a result of inflated transport fares and scarcity of buses. So, during a fuel scarcity, more Nigerians tend to do things like walking, trekking or even driving a bicycle to work or business rather than pay or wait for the transport. This is good for one’s health given that Nigeria has a growing obesity problem.
9) It helps in the reduction of air pollution by generators and vehicles: The air in Nigeria also gets less polluted during a fuel scarcity since there are less generators and vehicles running during this time. The lesser the fuel operated machines are running, the cleaner the air will be. It is normally harder to breathe when walking through a highly trafficked road in Lagos than through one where there are no vehicles.
10. Each time there is fuel scarcity menace, everyone is again reminded of the need to start making researches towards building cars and other machines that are less dependent on fuel. For instance, there are several gas stations in Nigeria today that help both private and public vehicle owners to build gas tanks in their cars. During fuel scarcity, owners of cars that use gas do not feel the stress and pains that others go through.
11. It encourages people to invest more on alternative sources of energy: Fuel scarcity also encourages people to use greener forms of electricity or power generation like solar energy and so on. Nowadays a growing number of Nigerians have started using solar chargers to recharge their electronics rather than using generators. Some also use wind power and so on rather than trying to use a generator all the time.
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