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In the abundance of oil, the Abuja cars are thirsty for petrol

Fuel scarcity in Abuja

The dreaded long queues at petrol stations have been a feature in Abuja for the last three weeks.

The queues are at the stations that even bother to open to the public. No one is quite sure what the excuse is this time.

The queues get longer
The queues get longer

But Nigeria continues to import the bulk of the refined petrol it needs for the millions of cars on its roads because our four refineries are not operating at anything near full capacity, despite the millions of dollars sunk into trying to bring them up to speed.

I remember coming home to Nigeria for Christmas one December in the 1990s in the middle of a massive episode of fuel scarcity. You could only get petrol on the black market and the quality of what you bought was in the lap of the gods.

I asked a very savvy female taxi driver what to get my Mum for Christmas and she suggested 50 litres of petrol.

Christmas would come early for long-suggering Nigerians if the incoming Buhari adminstration manages to get our refineries functioning and builds new ones. Oil-producing Nigeria has just four moribund refineries, while Egypt without a drop of the black gold has 10.

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