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Nigerian businesses running on empty

Wednesday, June 03, 2015 - 01:34

Motorists, business owners and traders in Nigeria are in despair over ongoing fuel shortages. As Amy Pollock reports there are calls for the newly elected president to intervene.

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Africa's biggest oil producer is still running on empty. Motorists, business owners and traders are being hit hard by continuing fuel shortages. The price of goods and transport is rising as the pumps run dry. (SOUNDBITE) (Pidgin English) VEGETABLE SELLER, MAMA OFOMA, SAYING: "The fuel scarcity has made it such that before our goods get here they are expensive because transportation to market is no longer affordable and it means we have to buy at a higher price and even sell above the normal prices. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROVISION SELLER, OC NWODO, SAYING: "We are losing customers who used to buy things from us. Unlike other days when there was fuel everywhere and you'd see many cars." This is despite fuel distributors ending a strike over the $1 billion they say they are owed in subsidies by the previous government. Nigeria has inadequate refineries and relies on imports for nearly all the 40 million litres of gasoline it uses each day - giving the fuel marketers control. Now Nigerians want the new President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOTORIST, GBENGA RAJI, SAYING: "This has been the longest scarcity we have ever experienced in this country and Nigeria is getting tired of it, we can no longer condone it anymore. We are passing this message to the new Mr. president to rescue us out of this tragedy." It's an economic headache for the new president as he takes charge in a period of slowing growth and rising inflation. Buhari is expected to review the subsidy scheme after allegations the government paid out more than six billion U.S. dollars in fraudulent claims in 2012.

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Nigerian businesses running on empty

Wednesday, June 03, 2015 - 01:34