Nigeria will probably be hit by fuel shortages in three weeks as the Government does not have enough money to pay for gasoline subsidies, according to the Head of Seplat Petroleum Development Co. Plc.
“In three weeks, we will be back to scarcity because we simply do not have the money to pay for the subsidy,”
Austin Avuru, CEO of Lagos-based Seplat, said yesterday at a Bloomberg conference at the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Nigeria was almost grounded to a halt last month during the country’s worst fuel shortage in a decade due to a dispute between oil-product marketers and the outgoing government.
The shortage left various service stations closed, aircrafts grounded, and businesses unable to operate generally in the country. A lack of oil refining capacity means Nigeria subsidises gasoline imports and suffers frequent fuel short-age even though it’s Africa’s biggest crude producer of about 2 million barrels a day.
President Muhammadu Buhari who took office on May 29, said this week that his government was facing severe financial strain from a treasury that is “virtually empty” and billions of dollars in debt.