Nigerian Gasoline Prices Soar as Shortages Worsen Cost of Living Crisis

Estimated read time 2 min read

By Samkele Mchunu

Gasoline shortages persist in Nigeria’s major cities, exacerbating the country’s already dire cost-of-living crisis. Prices at retail outlets in Lagos and Abuja have risen sharply, with some exceeding 850 naira, while prices outside major cities, such as Kano, have soared above 1000 naira. Despite the government-owned oil firm, NNPC Ltd, importing gasoline at an average price of 617 naira, consumers are feeling the pinch.

President Bola Tinubu’s government removed subsidies last year, allowing private firms to import gasoline. However, foreign currency shortages and a price cap on petrol have left NNPC as the sole importer. An NNPC spokesperson acknowledged that some outlets are exploiting the situation to maximize profits.

Gasoline is crucial for transportation and powering generators for households and small businesses. The current shortage is further straining an economy grappling with its highest inflation rate in 28 years. Commuters are left stranded as buses wait in long queues at retail stations.

Analysts warn that if shortages persist, the prices of basic food items could sharply increase, compounding frustrations after the recent hike in electricity tariffs for some consumers.

One frustrated citizen expressed their dismay on the X platform, lamenting the combination of transportation difficulties, fuel scarcity, power outages, and high costs of goods.

NNPC attributes the shortages to logistical challenges but assures customers that it has over 1.5 billion liters of petrol, sufficient for at least 30 days. However, the company is burdened with debt and unable to produce enough crude for its refineries.

The situation underscores the urgent need for systemic solutions to address Nigeria’s energy challenges and alleviate the burden on its citizens amid ongoing economic struggles.

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