Long lines for fuel continued to be reported in certain parts of Nigeria on Tuesday, December 5, amid fears of fuel price hikes. Among the areas reportedly most affected by the long fuel lines and shortages are the states of Lagos, Kaduna, Ogun, Nasarawa, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja, and in other areas across the southwestern part of the country. Several stations in Lagos reportedly ran out of fuel and were closed on Tuesday. Traffic disruptions associated with the long lines have been reported around the affected gas stations.
A rumored hike in fuel prices suspected to come in advance of Christmas reportedly led to increased consumer demand (panic buying), according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and consequent fuel shortages. Panic buying was also reported in parts of Ado Ekiti (Ekiti state), though other parts of the city were reportedly unaffected. Representatives of the NNPC are expected to report on the situation in an appearance before the Nigerian Senate on Thursday, December 7. Continued fuel shortages, long lines at pumping stations, and consequent transportation disruptions are expected across Nigeria, and particularly in the abovementioned areas, in the coming days.
Fuel shortages are not uncommon in Nigeria, and have been primarily caused in the past few years by the inability of fuel importers to buy refined petroleum products. These periodic shortages have impeded commerce and economic growth, leading to widespread power outages among businesses that use petroleum-based generators, air traffic disruptions, and long lines at gas stations. Protests in response to fuel shortages sometimes occur.
Individuals in Nigeria, particularly in the abovementioned areas, are advised to anticipate increased wait times at fuel stations, to replenish fuel supplies whenever possible, and to allow for additional time for travel in affected areas.
Generally speaking, the security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly concerning in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.