How Russia-Ukraine War Will Worsen Fuel Scarcity in Nigeria

Last updated on September 5th, 2022 at 09:08 pm

Many Nigerians may not see how the invasion of Ukraine by Russia would affect Nigeria, but in real sense, an average citizens on the street of a village somewhere in Abuja or elsewhere will be affected by war.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Sunday, February 20, 2022.

Does Nigeria have soldiers to send to Ukraine as a form of solidarity?

NO. Even children of the elites who are in Ukrainian universities are escaping to neighbouring Poland for fear of attack. The call by Ukraine for personnel support to prevent Russia from annexing it has not yielded an impressive result.

At home, Nigeria’s military is yet to record a total victory against Boko Haram and terrorists spread across the North. Will such a country send its insufficient and over-stressed soldiers to another country? You definitely know the answer.

Does Nigeria have enough money to support the invaded Ukraine?

No, because Nigeria is already in a generational debt and has no monetary support for any country.

As we write, the government borrows money to pay the salaries of civil servants. Though the political class continues to enrich themselves.


How will the Russia-Ukraine War Worsen Fuel supply in Nigeria?

Some of the countries from which Nigeria imports its petroleum products are already aligning with either Russia or Ukraine in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

In war, apart from economic sanctions being used as one of the tools, warring countries use their airspace, water space as another tool to clamp down on each other.

If for instance, Russia restricts ships from the Netherlands, Belgium, and France (sources of fuel imports into Nigeria) because of their alignment with the USA (which is bankrolling support for Ukraine), then fuel imports from the three countries will be affected.

For years, Nigeria exports its crude oil to the United States, Belgium, France, Russia and import the finished products.

The Punch quoted a source as saying:

“Now, Russia has attacked Ukraine. What is the impact of Russia’s attack of Ukraine on Nigeria? Russia is an oil-producing country, for Ukraine, our refined products come from that part of the world, not only Western Europe.”

The Punch

So, what will happen to fuel vessels from Russia if they were to pass through the waterways of countries that imposed sanctions on Putin and Russia for invading Ukraine?

People’s Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) corroborated the available stats when in January 2022 it revealed that the only member country of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that imports 90 to 95 per cent of refined petroleum products is Nigeria.

This means Nigeria’s refineries in Kaduna, Warri, Port Harcourt are as good as not having any government-owned refinery.

NNPC refineries cannot process a single little of crude oil as being reported by the government that produce below capacity.

For instance, Nigeria’s petroleum imports $46.55billion worth of fuel in 2016; another $49.51billion worth of fuel was imported in 2017 while in 2018 and 2019, $73.85billion and $93.97billion worth of the same products were imported respectively.

Nigeria’s Fuel Scarcity

In January, Nigeria’s Ministry of Petroleum Resources which is headed by President Muhammadu Buhari failed woefully to adequately cross-check the millions of fuel imported into the country.

The incompetence on the part of the officials of the ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited led to the importation of bad and dirty fuel into Nigeria through its contractors or traders via the Direct Sale Direct Purchase scheme.

The fuel didn’t pose a great health risk to local consumers of the product, it also caused an artificial scarcity thereby causing a hike in price at filling stations across acclaimed Africa’s biggest economy.

At the time of publication, a litre of petrol was between NGN200 to NGN500 in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

In some areas, a litre by black marketers was NGN1,000. The government threatened to sanction erring marketers, but the marketers are unperturbed by the government’s threat.

InfomediaNG gathered that some marketers get the products at deports upon bribing officials, as such, they transfer the cost to the final consumers.

On February 21, 2020, the NNPC Group Executive Director, Downstream, Mr Adetunji Adeyemi, in Abuja, promised that at least 2.3 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit would be imported into Nigeria by the end of February to end fuel scarcity.

February ends today and a long queue is everywhere across Nigeria including the “backyard” of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Nigeria’s Main Asset

Over the years, crude oil has been Nigeria’s main import. When there is a crisis in the countries where it imports its products, there is scarcity at home.

Another stats seen by InfomediaNG revealed that between January and March 2021, the import of petrol into Nigeria amounted to NGN688 trillion

Nigeria is the eleventh largest oil producer in the world and no.1 in Africa, but the country’s leadership has failed to manage its resources.

Why Ukraine-Russia War Will Prolong Fuel Scarcity In Nigeria

Although, the government is notorious for excuses when it failed in its obligations, the ongoing war between Russia and the West may prolong the ongoing fuel scarcity in Nigeria.

It was gathered that NNPC had a deficit of about 17 cargoes in its DSDP obligation due to low oil production.

In the warring regions of Russia where NNPC brings refined petrol into Nigeria, production may be put on hold.

Nigeria’s only problem isn’t fuel scarcity, its monetary policies are not yielding the desired result even as the Naira continues to sit comfortably on the list of weakest currencies in Africa.

Not just that, prices of goods which are imported have gone up which economists described as hyper-inflation partly due to Naira devaluation

As Russia-Ukraine War continues, fuel scarcity in Nigeria may persist if Buhari and his team failed to find a temporary solution to the problem.

The best solution would have been to have our refineries running, but it isn’t what can be done in seconds.

Featured image:

  • By Vanguard and Unplash

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