Energy crisis in an Election month

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Nigeria, one of the largest oil-producing countries in the world, is currently facing a severe fuel crisis that has led to long lines at gas stations and increased prices for consumers. This crisis is having a major impact on the economy and society, and it is also likely to have a significant effect on the upcoming 2023 elections.

The root of the crisis can be traced back to the government’s decision to remove fuel subsidies in 2020. Prior to this, the government had been heavily subsidizing the cost of fuel, which kept prices low for consumers but also resulted in significant financial losses for the government. 

By removing the subsidies, the government allegedly hoped to save money and reduce corruption in the fuel sector.

However, the removal of subsidies has led to a sharp increase in fuel prices, which has had a ripple effect throughout the economy.

Prices for goods and services have risen as transportation costs have increased, and many businesses and households are struggling to make ends meet. The crisis has also led to job losses and reduced economic activity, which is further exacerbating the situation.

A new report from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that some 25 million Nigerians risk severe hunger between June and August this year.

A litre of petrol in Lagos sells for as high as N250-N300 from N170 two months ago, choking cash-strapped Nigerians who are already grappling with high prices.

With the threat to shut down supplies by the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) due to rampant extortion, intimidation, and violent attacks by hoodlums on its members, Nigerians naturally fear the worst, so close to elections. 

A new report from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that some 25 million Nigerians risk severe hunger between June and August this year.

The fuel crisis is also having a major impact on the political climate in Nigeria.

The government has faced widespread criticism for its handling of the crisis, with many accusing it of being unprepared and unwilling to take action.

The opposition parties have seized on the crisis as an opportunity to attack the ruling party and gain support ahead of the 2023 elections.

It is likely that the fuel crisis will be a major issue in the upcoming elections, and it could play a significant role in determining the outcome.

Many voters will be looking for a candidate or party that has a clear plan to address the crisis and restore stability to the economy. 

Eighteen candidates are vying to replace President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The prime candidates being Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

The ruling party APC will need to demonstrate that it has a credible plan to address the crisis, or risk losing support to the opposition, in particular Labour’s Peter Obi.

There are also concerns that the fuel crisis could lead to social unrest and protests, which could further destabilize the country and disrupt the electoral process. 

The government will need to take swift and decisive action to address the crisis and prevent any further escalation of the situation.

With few weeks to the general elections, the economic outlook of the country has never been so uncertain.

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