25 May 2015, Lagos – Economic activities is gradually grinding to a halt, as fuel scarcity bites harder across the country, just as residents are groaning under low level of electricity supply.
The scarcity and power outage have also affected businesses negatively, leading to a significant increase in the cost of doing business across all sectors of the country.
MTN to shut down in 24 hours
Already, MTN, Nigeria’s biggest mobile telephone operator, had issued a warning that it might be forced to shut down its network from Monday, due to the scarcity which is beginning to take its toll on its operations.
MTN in a statement weekend, said it needed a significant quantity of diesel in the very near future to prevent a shutdown of services across Nigeria.
Airtel services affected
Mobile phone operator Airtel has also said the scarcity of petroleum products is affecting its services
“While we are currently doing everything within our means as well as going the extra mile to ensure that all our base stations and switches are up and running, it is sad to note that it is becoming increasingly difficult to replenish current stock of diesel due to the lingering scarcity of the products.
“We are also concerned that, if the situation persists, it may have adverse effects on our network, impacting both voice and data services.
Oil workers’ meeting
Hope of speedy resolution of the crisis was dampened further Sunday, as the striking workers in the NNPC who held a closed door meeting failed to reach an agreement over a number of issues.
A source in the NNPC told Vanguard that there were disagreements by executives of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN in the meeting which started about 3pm and was still holding as at the time of filing in this report
The source who chose not to be named disclosed that some of the executives of both associations engaged in a hot argument and failed to reach agreement over some of the issues discussed
Electricity situation worsens
Power supply worsened across the country, dropping below 1,000 mega watts, with most households enjoying power supply for less than three hours daily.
Specifically, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, weekend, sent text messages to some of its customers, appealing for calm and understanding over the worsening power supply situation.
The company blamed the worsening electricity situation to a reduction in its power allocation, from about 400 megawatts to below 200 megawatts.
To this end, anger, frustration and uncertainty pervaded everywhere as Nigerians are of the view that the Federal Government seemed unconcerned about their plight.