Energy crisis hits Abuja as petrol scarcity, poor electricity supply ground businesses

bfb fuel scarcity
bfb fuel scarcity

From Uche Usim, Abuja

This is not the best time to live in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as residents battle a range of socio-economic challenges like insecurity, poor electricity supply and most importantly, scarcity of petrol and diesel.

The petrol scarcity imbroglio has lasted for months and despite succour assurances from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), the matter only worsened.

Motorists now sleep in filling stations to get the commodity or buy from black market dealers at N350/litre.

A taxi driver, John Amos, said his blood pressure has remained frighteningly high for about four months that the petrol crisis has lasted.

“Once in two days, I must languish in queues for hours. At times, after all the stress, I’ll still not get the product. Some of my friends sleep in filling stations. As in they work and retire there. They sleep in their cars. Isn’t that unpardonable for an energy producing nation like Nigeria? It’s totally unfair”, he wailed.

The ugly development has forced commuters to trek long distances as very few commercial vehicles are on the road.

Gladys Owoh, civil servant, narrated a nerve-racking story of how she was robbed while trekking to the bus stop in Wuse, where she would get an airport road taxi.

“From nowhere, two men accosted me. This was just about 6pm. They brandished daggers in broad daylight. I was frozen in fear. I surrendered my handbag immediately and therein were my ATM card, mobile phone, N2,800, receipts and house keys. If not for scarcity of taxis, I would not need to trek in the first place and perhaps not lose my valuables”, she lamented.

With the worsening electricity supply, scarce petrol, expensive diesel and high price of goods, many companies in the FCT have shutdown.

Over the weekend, it was gathered that over 40 bakeries in Abuja have succumbed to the harsh operating environment.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that some of the bakeries that have closed shops are; Abumme bakery Ltd. Lugbe, Airports road, Hamdala Bakery, Kuje, Harmony Bite Bakery, Karu, Doweey Delight Bakery Ltd, Kubwa.

Others include Merit Baker, Mpape, Funez Baker, Orozo, Slyz Bakery, and Wuse Zone 2, among others. Mr Ishaq Abdulraheem, the chairman, Abuja Master Bakers, FCT said that it was becoming increasingly disturbing that bakeries in Abuja could no longer cope with the high cost of production.

Meanwhile, top executives of the South-West Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have pledged support for the Federal Government by ensuring that Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) is available at the regulated price of N165 per litre, at retail stations.

The Zonal Chairman, IPMAN South-West, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen Lamidi, who gave the assurance at a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, also highlighted some of the problems his members are facing: product sharing, rise in penalties, difficulty in getting tax clearance, high cost of doing business in the country, amongst others.

He, however, assured that despite the contending challenges, the union has resolved not to embark on any industrial action as a conflict resolution technique.

“As far as we are concerned in the South-West, we have gone beyond strike. Strike is not the solution to any problem because if there is a strike, it affects the masses and our businesses.

“ We will work together to ensure free flow of petroleum products and also make sure that products are sold at the government-regulated price, if we get them at the normal price’’, the Zonal Chairman said.

 

 

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