Nigerians react to ongoing fuel crisis

Story highlights

  • Delayed subsidy payments have led to a fuel crisis in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer
  • Short on gas, people are taking their frustration to social media

(CNN)Disagreements between the government and fuel importers -- coupled with a foreign currency crisis caused by plunging oil prices -- have led to fuel scarcity in Nigeria, leaving people without gas for cars and fuel for generators, which many people rely on for electricity.

Drivers are queuing for hours, and sometimes overnight, hoping to snap up some of the last drops available at fuel stations around Abuja, Lagos and other cities around the country.
    The fuel crisis has recently deepened due to an explosion of an important pipeline, also affecting electricity supplies. Despite reassurances from state officials that the crisis would have resolved itself quickly, the last few weeks have been tough.
    While they wait for supplies to replenish, Nigerians are taking to Twitter, using the hashtags #NoFuel #NoLight and #EndFuelCrisisNow to share their experiences.
    Power for lighting, appliances and devices such as mobile phones often relies on petrol.
    The water supply is also affected, as pumps are also often powered by generators.
    Although the country is Africa's main oil exporter it lacks facilities to refine it and depends on import.
    Citizens are expecting answers from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel I. Kachikwu, who has addressed the problem in a video posted on Facebook.
    Some pointed out that a fuel shortage is not news, as a similar crisis happened in May last year.
    Others tweeted cartoons like this one suggesting petrol has become a rare commodity.
    After students protested over the lack of electricity and water and the fact that they were unable to travel to the campus, The University of Lagos has been shut down.
    If that wasn't enough bad news for one week, the crisis has pushed up fuel prices and inflation has hit an almost four year high. And as this tweet shows, some are down to buying small amounts of petrol, sometimes on the street.
    Officials maintain that improvements are on the horizon. A number of cargo vessels with petroleum are reported to have arrived on 12 April. This will give some relief in some of the major cities, although it remains to be seen just how far these latest efforts will go towards resolving the situation in the whole country.
    And while some said the country was grinding to a halt, others used comedy to illustrate the frustration among drivers...