One very bad thing has become normalised in Nigeria, and that is the unfortunate reality called fuel scarcity. Every year we experience it; an inevitable aspect of our existence. But why must fuel be scarce at the end of every year?
The High Demand…
In Nigeria, petroleum products are in high demand at the end of every year. There are reasons for this. One of these reasons is the fact that Nigerians travel a lot for the holidays, albeit by road. For this reason, fuel and diesel are needed for transportation. Asides that, petroleum products are also needed in large quantities for power generation in most Nigerian homes. This is owing to the fact that our power holding company (which on a normal day is useless by the way), becomes utterly incapable of putting light in people’s homes homes due to low rainfall and the sharp decline in power generation at Kainji dam. These two factors determine the high demand for fuel, which in turn is responsible for the scarcity; economically speaking. The only problem however is the fuel scarcity in Nigeria is seldom determined by laws of economics as it is determined by negligent governance!
Perhaps I may never know [for a fact] the actual reason why fuel scarcity looms at the end of the year in Nigeria. But seeing as we are top of the list of the world’s highest producers of crude oil, it becomes shameful for Nigerians to have to queue for long hours in sweltering heat just to be able to buy fuel which, by the way is ludicrously expensive. There are many countries in the world that have never extracted a drop of crude and without hopes of ever doing so. Yet, their citizens have never for once queued up to buy fuel. But then again, this is Nigeria where it’s a normal thing for citizens to suffer on a daily basis.
Why our leadership cannot fix the problem of fuel scarcity once and for all remains a great puzzle for me. More so, the reason why we [the citizens] cannot collectively demand that the problem be solved will keep puzzling me for a while to come. In the meantime however, I will queue under the sun like the rest of my country people, fighting for the opportunity to buy fuel and kerosene with my hard-earned money, or worst still sleep in darkness and with no fan, while the heat and mosquitoes feast on my body.