Airline passengers stranded as flights are cancelled …Abuja residents moan


As fuel scarcity bites harder, commercial activities across the country have been grounded, amid tougher days ahead for commuters, businesses and air travellers.

Fuel-ScarcityAt the weekend, some domestic airlines which includes, Arik Air cancelled their flights, as a result of inability to source for Aviation fuel. Same goes for telecommunications outfits, which have given notice of likely shutdown of some base stations over their inability to source diesel to power generators as well as Guarantee Trust Bank, which took the pain of sending internet messages to their customers about the early closure of bank transactions nationwide.‎

In Lagos and also within the Abuja environs, the situation has taken a turn for the worse, as black marketers now sell a litre of fuel between N300 to N500. On Sunday, May 24, 2015, those involved in the sale of the commodity on the International Airport Road, sold 10 litres for N5,000.‎

However, as Lagos remains troubled over the unavailability of fuel, the Federal Capital City, Abuja is not different. Here, you find commercial drivers and private car owners queuing up endlessly for over 24 hours before fuel would be bought, while others resort to the expensive black market commodity.

The aviation sector is nothing to write home about as various local flights are being cancelled on daily basis due to lack of aviation fuel which has reduced the flow of activity at the airport. Passengers remain stranded at the airport for hours without hope of getting to their expected destinations. Over the weekend, especially on Sunday‎, May 24, 2015, so many passengers were at the airport lamenting on the cancellation of their flights. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with some of the stranded travellers as they narrate their ordeals…


How do you feel about this situation?

I did not expect this fuel scarcity would get this far. The government needs to do something fast about it. I booked my flight last week to Lagos with Aero and getting to the airport, I discovered my flight was cancelled because there is no aviation fuel.

What have you lost due to this action?

It cannot be quantified. I was traveling for a business meeting and we all know what happens if we are absent at a business meeting. I just need a quick solution.


How do you feel about this situation?

I would say this is the worst time in the country at the moment. It is so sad to hear that a country that produces fuel cannot provide fuel for its own use. I booked a flight to Port Harcourt and on Saturday, May 24, 2015, around 3:30am, I received a mail from Arik that my flight for the following morning will not operate because there is no aviation fuel. So I’m at the airport to get my refund.

What have you lost due to this action?

Aside from me, we have all lost something in one way or another. I cannot go about my normal business activities.

SALIU ABDUL, Taxi driver

How do you feel about this situation?

It is really terrible. I have been at the filling station in Guarimpa for over 24 hours before I got fuel. They were selling the fuel in batches so we have to wait for our turn before we get into the filling station and we are buying for N200 per litre.

What have you lost due to this action?

I am a family man and I need to feed my family. This scarcity has restricted a lot of people from moving around because it has also affected the prices of transportation.


How are you coping with the issue of fuel scarcity?

It has not been easy but it has been by the Grace of God. There is blackout everywhere, there is no power supply which can act like a source of relief. It is unfortunate that we lack both power supply and fuel at the same time. I wish the government can do something fast about it.


How are you coping with the issue of fuel scarcity?

‎There is total blackout as PHCN is not helping the situation.  I have to buy black market to fuel my generator both at home and for my shop. I even spend more than I budget for weekly. My profit at the shop has been spent on fueling the generator. The situation keeps getting bad daily.

SEGUN ADO‎, Resident

How are you coping with the issue of fuel scarcity?

This situation has made me to cut down on my cost and also reduce the way I visit friends. I go to work when my presence is highly needed because there is no fuel. Even when there is fuel, the queue is too long. So I result to black market which is very expensive.


How are you coping with the issue of fuel scarcity?

This is the worst situation ever in this country. We have been coping with the issue of epileptic power supply and consoling ourselves with fuel in our generator but both have now become gold. It has just been by the Grace of God and I can’t wait for this phase to pass.


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