The World Relies Heavily On Petroleum
Whether we care to admit it or not, the world is largely reliant on petroleum products. Countries export and import crude oil, organisations make huge investments in oil, individuals utilize it for cooking, and businesses depend on petroleum products for their day-to-day operations. In a country like Nigeria, for example, it’s almost impossible to see a business that does not dedicate a significant portion of its capital to buying petrol or diesel, especially due to the epileptic nature of power supply.
This is why a period of fuel scarcity translates to hardship on multiple fronts. Businesses find that there is an increase in the cost of operations, there is a hike in the cost of transportation, roads become impassable due to the long queues, and the discomfort is multi-dimensional. It’s worse in cities where the supply of electricity is poor, as individuals would struggle to keep up with processes as simple as food preservation that require electricity, and organisations would find it hard to perform to optimal capacity.
The Recent Fuel Scarcity Across Nigeria’s Major Cities
For many weeks in February and the early part of March, many Nigerians, especially those living in Lagos and Abuja, had to deal with fuel scarcity for the first time in nearly six years. The cause of the situation was unclear because the stories kept changing week after week: some attributed it to an accidental supply of adulterated fuel, while others speculated that it was the far-reaching effect of the war in Ukraine that had impacted global supply. Whatever the true reason was, Nigerians groaned and wailed as petrol stations simply refused to open, people stayed in long lines for hours just to get petrol into their cars and kegs, and black market operators had a field day as they sold petrol to desperate consumers at three times the usual price. Even some attendants at a few of the functional petrol stations demanded “tips” before they would serve consumers.
The situation has eased up a little in the past few days, but many people are still anxious. Prices that went up in those wild weeks are refusing to come back down, and people are biting their nails, unsure of when next the petrol stations will lock up chop again.
How To Stay Ready
It’s an unpredictable terrain as far as fuel supply is concerned, so here are a few ways to stay ahead of whatever curveballs that Nigeria may want to throw at you:
1. Drive only where you need to: Unless it’s really important or really distant, you can decide to cut down on the number of places you go to with your car. Other than work, school runs or extremely important appointments, resist the urge to drive to that place if it’s somewhere you can take a short walk to. You don’t want to get caught up in another period of scarcity and start mulling over all the times you could have saved fuel.
2. Shop in bulk: When you head to the grocery store, endeavour to buy items in bulk rather than purchasing in single units. When you buy more, you dispense with the need to drive out again to shop for the same set of groceries in another two or three weeks, and ultimately, you save more petrol.
3. Buy fuel in large quantities: To some people, this may translate to “panic buying”, but it is better to err on the side of caution. If you have empty kegs at home, you could fill them with petrol and keep them somewhere safe to avoid the risk of explosion. Also, when you head out in your car, imbibe a culture of filling your tank when you have the chance to; you never know what the evening news could bring.
How Paga Eases The Process Of Beating The Curve
When it comes to making payments, whether it’s for groceries or for petrol supplies, the goal is to aim for ease and convenience. The good news is that with Paga, Nigeria’s leading payment solutions provider, you can successfully conduct simple payments at the snap of your fingers. With Paga, you can send money FOR FREE to anyone with a phone number or email address. If the grocery store or business owner is a Paga agent, the process of concluding your transactions is six times easier.
Paga is the fastest way to make online payment and process money transfers. It is a lot easier to top up your prepaid and postpaid airtime across all mobile networks, including MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9mobile. With Paga, you don’t need mobile data to make payments; all you have to do is dial *242# to pay via USSD. There are no transfer fees or hidden charges attached to your transactions.
Fuel scarcity is not a pleasant thing to experience, and it is hoped that there are no repeat occurrences. Nevertheless, it is important to stay ready, and with payment solutions that ease the process of transactions, at least Nigerians have a cushion to bounce on.