Everyone who has had a reason to go somewhere this week has no doubt seen the long queues at filling stations. Unlike before, filling stations this week have now acquired the full rights and license to “open and close” whenever they want.
They can start selling by 1pm only to stop by 3pm, chasing out motorists and cars! If your car won’t start, they’ll gladly help you push it out. If you are unfortunate enough to interact with the fuel attendants, you’ll be exposed to the practical meaning of “shakara”.
Passing through Ikoyi club – Alfred rewane/Osborne on my way to Lekki some days back, at the NNPC filling station on that axis, I was surprised to see a “National Assembly” style meeting on going. The attendants were all seated facing a “high table” that seemed to have the manager and the owner. Each attendant will stand and bow before speaking and once done, sit back and the next uniformed attendant would take his turn. What made this out of place was that it was on a Monday morning, a peak time for sale of fuel and there was a long line of cars waiting for them to start selling.
The other day, a statement was released telling Nigerians not to worry about fuel scarcity in the yuletide season, shortly after that, petroleum dealers made a threat to hike prices due to sharp practices by NNPC. The week following all that drama, filling stations started hoarding fuel, leading to artificial scarcity.
Co-incidence or Conspiracy?
Like clockwork, every Nigerian based and living in Nigeria has gradually grown to expect scarcity of fuel in Nigeria. While the FG has NNPC to give them a steady supply of petroleum products, the Nigerian masses are not afforded that luxury.
We know Nigeria is broken and needs fixing, thanks to our leaders (don’t be deceived by the manipulated statistics and figures) but adding to the current hardship is unacceptable. I mean, they literally have ELEVEN MONTHS to plan for this ONE month. If the FG can’t pull that off, then it says a lot about all those, vision 20-20, 2024, 2025 economic goals they keep bombarding us with on TV.
The queues are back, the traffic is back, the long-hours at the bus-stop and hiked transport fares are equally back. For how long and to what end, that remains to be seen. But from experience, a price hike is usually the end result of this kind of carefully orchestrated FG initiated plan to squeeze more out of the masses.
Just thinking out loud.