Nigeria Hit By Severe And Biggest Fuel Shortage

Nigeria Hit By Severe And Biggest Fuel Shortage

A severe fuel crisis has hit Nigeria with long queues of angry motorists waiting for hours outside petrol stations in major cities to fill up.

Importers are accused of withholding petrol because of a payment dispute with the government, which they deny.This is the biggest fuel shortage in Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May.

Nigeria is Africa's main oil exporter but imports most of its petrol because it lacks the capacity to refine it.

The fuel is imported at a subsidised price under a scheme operated by the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).Earlier this month, the government approved the payment of $2.1bn (£1.4bn) to the importers, or wholesale fuel sellers, to settle subsidy claims.

However, payment has been delayed because parliament has not yet approved it.

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The reports that previous governments tended to pay the wholesale fuel sellers without parliamentary approval, but it seems that President Buhari is trying to stick to the law by refusing to release such a large sum of money without parliamentary scrutiny, he says.

Mr Buhari took office partly on a pledge to curb corruption in the oil sector.In May, the country was brought to a standstill when the importers went on strike following a row over payments with the outgoing government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

 

 

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