Christmas is a season people around the world naturally expect good tidings from fellow human beings as custom demands. However for Nigerians it’s a season that takes an awful dimension. The awfulness stems from the annual fuel scarcity that usually starts tentatively on the second week of December and grows in scale and magnitude till the end of the year.
This occurrence which has been with us for years has remained unabated due to unknown reasons. The situation is so precarious that many Nigerians get stranded in their place of residence as their plans to travel to their village for the Christmas celebration do end up as a mirage.
To those ready to go by all means, the cost of transportation will be on a high side and it will remain so until the the next year. Funny enough, this fuel scarcity naturally disappears the second week of January of the new year. Petrol stations suddenly have fuel, the queues disappear and the cost of transportation reverts back to old prices same as the price of fuel will revert back to the government approved prices.
This sad experience hasn’t eluded us this December 2017, in spite of the ‘strides’ our current government claims to have achieved since it came into power. Two weeks into our ‘seasonal’ fuel scarcity, citywide traffic jams keep people at home and exorbitant fuel costs keep people in despair. Throughout the country it has been a hard time for all road users. The cost of fuel in some area within Lagos has moved higher from the government #145 regulated price to #175 and some #200.
Some filling stations have closed shop with no hope of return anytime soon as a result less petrol stations have petroleum products to dispense which has resulted in the fuel queues we see all around us.
The National Union of Road Transport Workers NURTW as usual has emerged as the winner in this situation as the cost of transportation has increased.
With the ongoing fuel scarcity, There is surely no Christmas in Nigeria as it has always been.