Double jeopardy! Power outage compounds fuel scarcity

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    Nigerians in several cities, including Abuja and Lagos, have been hit by a “double jeopardy” of fuel scarcity and electricity outage, leaving millions struggling to keep up with their daily activities and businesses.
    For weeks, the country has faced fuel shortage caused by the importation of low standard petrol into the country. Many fuel stations have run out of fuel as the government tries to retrieve the dirty fuel and distribute cleaner volumes.
    In Abuja, black market petrol sold as high as N700 a litre on Wednesday as motorists spent hours at fuel stations trying to buy the product for their cars and generators.
    With Nigeria’s perpetually poor electricity supply, millions of residents rely on generators for power. Prolonged fuel shortage means people are not only unable to power their cars but also their generators.
    Amidst the continuing scarcity, several residents districts in Abuja and Lagos reported electricity outages.
    The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) said in a message to customers on Wednesday: “Dear Customer, please note that the interruptions of electricity supply you are currently experiencing is due to the instability of supply from the National Grid due to low Generation.”
    We appeal to you to be patient as all stakeholders are working hard to restore system stability. For enquiries, call 08039070070,” the message read.
    In a similar statement to customers, the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), which is responsible for parts of Lagos, said on its official twitter handle, ” Dear customer, the present outage on Agbara 33KV Feeder is due to an accident along Badagry Express Road damaging 19 of our poles.”
    It said the affected areas are Isashi, Igboelerin, Church and environs.
    Efforts are ongoing to replace the damaged poles and restore supply as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience and ask that you bear with us,” the company tweet reads.
    Adebiyi Sheriff, a resident of Springville Estate in Abuja, said the residents of his estate have been in darkness for three days without a flash of electricity.
    We are tired of the issue,” he said Thursday morning.
    Kujore Gbenga, who is the chairman of Lugbe Oakville Community, said electricity supply in the community has been “very poor” in the past weeks.
    The supply has been very poor for some time now. We believe there is a need to replace some transformers and maintenance in order to restore effective and efficient power supply here,” he said.
    Ebuka Onyeji, who lives in the Gwarinpa district of Abuja, said they have equally been experiencing poor electricity supply recently.
    The whole of yesterday (Wednesday) we had no light, coupled with the fuel saga in the country, it is not funny at all,” he said.
    It was so unbearable yesterday. We are struggling with acute fuel scarcity and now complete power outage. The whole of yesterday there was no light and I can’t even use my generator because fuel is now the new gold. A 10-litre in the black market is now selling for N6,000 and one is not even sure if it has not been adulterated,” he said.
    Sanni Hassan, a fashion designer in Ayobo Lagos, lamented that the electricity has been very poor in his area.
    Coupled with the current fuel scarcity, the situation has worsened. Making it impossible to meet customers’ delivery dates,” he said.
    Meanwhile, as the fuel scarcity lingers, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has assured Nigerians of adequate fuel supply by next week.
    This is as it said 30 vessels would supply an additional 2.3 billion litres of PMS into the country till the end of February 2022.
    The NNPC Managing Director, Mele Kyari, disclosed this on Thursday during the National Economic Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
    Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Thursday titled ‘NNPC’S presentation of update on PMS supply & distribution’.
    According to Akande, “The National Economic Council has resolved to encourage the growth of the automotive industry in Nigeria by improving patronage of locally manufactured vehicles, just as the Council got assurances that the current fuel situation in parts of the country would be resolved by next week.
    NNPC as the supplier of last resort has continued to sustain adequate petroleum products supply and distribution to the Nation despite challenges associated with the unending waves of pipeline vandalism, product theft and cross-border smuggling of PMS.

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