Wednesday, 6 April 2016
Fuel, Food And Optimism
The fuel scarcity is hitting everyone hard. The small to medium scale businesses are really struggling as well and like the rest of the country we are begging for respite. Fuel scarcity also poses a major threat to our food security. The cost of transporting food round the country would increase which would also spike the food costs. Not good news at all at the moment. Losses are been incurred everywhere in the country.
I came across a news article regarding these losses from the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) which made it clear to the government that the issue of unavailability of petroleum products and its importation portrays our country in bad light. It shows us up as an incompetent manager of our resources.
Businesses especially MSME’s have lost over N30B through inadequate supply of petroleum products. Labour productivity is low as employees have stayed off work since the hike of fares by providers and when they come, they are always late. NNPC banned the use of containers to buy petrol without considering that most households and small businesses run on petrol generating sets. This has forced them to close shops. Buying with kegs is not the cause of scarcity but inadequate supply of products.
According to Tony Ejinkeonye, NNPC over the years has not proffered any meaningful solution. They are fond of treating symptoms instead of addressing the issue, he concluded.
The fate of a business owner in Nigeria at the moment reminds me of a Late Koffi Awnoor verse;
"If I turn here, the rain beats me
If I turn there the sun burns me
The firewood of this world Is for only those who can take heart
That is why not all can gather it"
Naija, we are still pregnant with hope!