Nigeria is on the verge of shutting down [PHOTOS]

Transport prices have doubled, flights are being cancelled, vital services are shutting down and there seems to be no end in sight to the predicament.

Stranded passengers at the Lagos airport

The current fuel scarcity in Nigeria and the accompanying power crisis has brought the country to its knees.

Citizens are now forced to queue at petrol stations for hours on end to buy fuel at three times the normal pump price for a litre, and that’s if it’s even available.

Black market prices for fuel have now risen to between 500-1000 per litre.

“It’s 500 per litre for fuel in Ikoyi now,” one resident, Kunle Badmus told Pulse. “Black market goes as high as N800,” he added.

On the mainland, soldiers have been stationed at petrol stations to keep chaos from breaking out, but they’re not doing much good.

“Soldiers have been flogging people,” Femi Taiwo, a resident of Ojodu who has spent hours at a petrol station said. “They flogged one man who has been here since 4am. He refused to leave,” he added.

The crisis has led to the shutdown of radio stations and mobile network provider, MTN has warned that its services might be affected as well.

“If diesel supplies are not received within the next 24 hours the network will be seriously degraded and customers will feel the impact,” the network warned via Twitter on Saturday, May 23, 2015.

Popular radio station, Beat FM, also announced that its activities had been affected by the lack of diesel and as such it would be forced to close early.

“We will be shutting down at 8.30pm today due to diesel shortage. We have to ration. We will be back on tomorrow. We will keep you updated,” the station said via Twitter as well.

Intending air passengers have also been left stranded at airports due to a lack of aviation fuel.

Major airline, Aero Contractors has cancelled 80% of its flights, according to spokesman Simon Tunde and another major carrier, Arik Air has also been severely affected.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has said nothing regarding the crisis and as such is facing major criticism from the populace.

“Somebody pls tell GEJ that "silence is not golden" at a time like this. He needs to speak up now,” Genevieve Magazine editor, Betty Irabor said via Twitter on Sunday, May 24.

Other Nigerians believe that the President is punishing citizens for not re-electing him.

“Goodluck Jonathan punishing the masses for not voting for him by this fuel scarcity only explanation,” one Twitter user, Wale said.

Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke is currently out of the country while her Finance counterpart, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has vowed not to pay the marketers who are largely responsible for the crisis.

"Marketers were asking for N159 billion for exchange rate differentials from the outstanding N200 billion. There has been so much fraud and scam so I have refused to sign for that money but have agreed that a committee be set up involving the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to verify marketers’ claims,” Okonjo-Iweala said.

“Marketers just want to make Nigerians suffer. I will not pay the N159 billion without verification, Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed,” the minister said on Saturday in Abuja,” she added.

As services in the country grind to a halt, Nigerians can only hope that something will be done to resolve the situation before the consequences become too dire to manage.


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