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Business News of Wednesday, 4 January 2023


Amid fuel scarcity, Buhari promises to support Burundi with petroleum products

Fuel queue (file image) Fuel queue (file image)

As Nigerians continue to battle the ripple effect of fuel scarcity, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday promised fuel delivery assistance to Burundi.

Mr Buhari made the promise at the State House while hosting the special envoy of the president of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye.

According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president pledged that in the spirit of African solidarity and brotherliness, Nigeria will support the Republic of Burundi in diverse ways as necessary.

The Nigerian president thereafter promised to support the Burundian people with fuel supply.

“On request for assistance in the area of energy provision, particularly fuel, by the Burundi leader, President Buhari said he knows what it feels like for a country to suffer from energy shortage, and promised that he would get the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to look into the request,” the statement said.

In his speech, Audace Niyonzima, Minister of Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning of Burundi, said the Burundian president sent goodwill for the New Year to Nigerians and Mr Buhari. He also wished the country well in the general elections scheduled for February and March.

“We pray that the polls would be peaceful and successful so that Nigeria would maintain her reputation as a bastion of peace and stability,” the Special Envoy said.

Mr Buhari made the promise as Nigerians continue to face an energy crisis that has thrown households into darkness and crippled businesses across the country.

Fuel Scarcity

In recent years, fuel scarcity worsened in Nigeria, causing queues at filling stations and leaving millions unable to fuel their cars and generators.

In recent months, especially since the government announced plans to remove fuel subsidy, Nigerians have had a hard time getting petroleum products at filling stations.

The scarcity has persisted despite the government’s repeated claims it had enough petroleum products in stock.

In many parts of Nigeria, operators of filling stations where petroleum products were available, sold at prices higher than the government’s pump price.

In December, in a bid to help alleviate the stress faced by Nigerians daily, the State Security Service in December issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and fuel marketers to resolve the ongoing petroleum scarcity in the country.

The secret police said it would “commence operations” around the country if the problem persisted after two days.

But the threats notwithstanding, fuel scarcity persisted as motorists and other end-users continue to lament scarcity of petroleum products even during festive periods.