In last few weeks there has been a severe of shortage of gasoline (petrol) or “foil” (this is how many Nigerian’s pronounce “fuel,” which is initially quite confusing when some says they are putting “foil” in their car). It is quite common to wait 20 minutes or more at a filling station to get gas, however, now if you can find a station selling it you will have to wait several hours. Last Saturday Richard waited about 2 hours and they would only give out 20 liters (1/4 of a tank) of gas. There is a government run station in town that almost always has fuel. On Wednesday of this week at 7:00 am the line was at least 1 mile long.
There is fuel available on the “black market” if you want to pay the price. The current black market price is 110 Naira a liter or about $2.80 per gallon. The normal price is 65 Naira a liter ($1.65 per gallon). Many of you may welcome the $2.80 per gallon price, but for us and most Nigerians this is a big burden. The “black market” is people who buy the fuel at the government rate and then resell it at a profit.
The cause of the shortage is apparently due to the tanker truck drivers going on strike. It seems that the government impounded numerous trucks for a variety of reasons so their colleagues went on strike in support of them. The drivers claim that they are being harassed by the police. We have no idea of what the truth is, we only know that life is a bit more difficult than before, especially for the average Nigerian.
Praise God that the rains have begun to fall. This will greatly help the water shortage, which is a much more serious problem than the fuel shortage. The rain is also turning the brown dusty ground green, which is a welcome site.