Fuel Scarcity: Black Marketers Make More Than 10,000 Naira Daily
As millions of Nigerians groan under the untold hardship created by the unending fuel scarcity, some individuals are thriving in adversity. Popularly referred to as ‘Black marketers’, they seem to emerge from the cracks of society everytime PMS becomes scarce, sporting various colored jerry cans and short hoses. You can spot them on almost every major road in every major city in Nigeria.
Most of them made up of unemployed youth referred to as ‘Area Boys’, it’s not unusual to find a few women also hawking fuel along the road. These ‘street entrepreneurs’ are taking advantage of the situation, investing time and effort in the wee hours of the morning acquiring their product from colluding fuel attendants, and then selling it in daytime at double the price. A 5-liter keg of fuel which would normally cost N430 at pump price sells for N1000 or more on the black market. That’s over a 100% profit. There are even tales of large bunkers of fuel in parts of Surulere and Mushin were the fuel attendants guarantee a steady supply of fuel in exchange for a ‘percentage mark up’ on the returns.
Like every other business, there is also risk involved. Fire hazards. DPR. And of course, the Nigerian Police. A Black Marketer who goes by the street name ‘Shoko’ spoke to us about the black market system. Pardon the audio quality.