Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Cellphone provider needs fuel to prevent shut-down

25 May 2015, 07:46

Lagos - A leading cellphone provider said Sunday it urgently needs diesel to prevent shutting down services countrywide — the latest business hit by a months-long fuel crisis in the country.

Many aircraft have been grounded with foreign airlines diverting to other African countries to fuel for flights abroad.

Some radio stations have been silenced.

The country's woefully erratic electricity supply keeps businesses dependent on diesel generators. Nigeria produces more than 2 billion barrels of petroleum a day, but imports almost all refined fuel because its refineries aren't maintained.

The party of President-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday accused President Goodluck Jonathan's government of deliberately wrecking the economy.

Also Read:Iyanya celebrates relationship with MTN

"The whole scenario reeks of sabotage," spokesman Lai Mohammed said in a statement. "Never in the history of our country has any government handed over to another a more distressed country: No electricity, no fuel, workers are on strike, billions are owed to state and federal workers, 60 billion dollars are owed in national debt and the economy is virtually grounded."

Buhari takes office on Friday.

MTN Nigeria, which has 50 million-plus customers, tweeted that cellphone service will start deteriorating in 24 hours if it doesn't find diesel. Some customers already are experiencing problems and Nigeria's landline network collapsed years ago.

"MTN's available reserves are running low and the company must source for a significant quantity of diesel in the very near future to prevent a shutdown of services across Nigeria," corporate services executive Akindale Goodwill tweeted.

Also Read: MTN Nigeria refutes staff dismissal rumours

The crisis began when oil suppliers, hit by tightened credit lines and unpaid interest, said the government owes them as much as $1 billion for fuel and subsidies going back to October 2014. They said they could no longer afford to supply fuel.

Oil tanker drivers unpaid by the suppliers started striking last week and were joined Thursday by other oil workers.

The government, reeling from halved international prices for petroleum that provides more than 80 percent of its revenue, is so cash-strapped it is borrowing to pay salaries, the finance minister said earlier this month.

Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala denied the debt on Friday, telling journalists the suppliers are asking the government to pay their foreign exchange differential losses caused by the naira's slump from about 160 to the dollar in December to today's 218.

She accused oil suppliers of holding Nigerians to ransom and said she has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to verify the figures because "there has been so much fraud allegations and scams in this business of oil marketing."

- AP

Tags mtn fuel

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...