Is there a real risk of fuel shortages in Africa?

In early March, the outgoing secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Barkindo, tried to sound firm and reassuring, saying: “There will be no oil shortage, even if Moscow’s war on Ukraine is fuelling the price surge.”

However, the recent refusal by OPEC and OPEC+ member countries to open the floodgates wider in order to relieve the market is reviving speculation.

Nigeria, the continent’s largest producer of black gold, is paradoxically facing a huge rush for petrol. In recent weeks, motorists have had to show great patience to reach the pump. In Lagos, Abuja and Kano, long queues at service stations are disrupting or even blocking traffic, as the price of diesel has recently risen from N225 ($0.60) to about N800 ($1.93).

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