Monday, January 9, 2012

Nigerian Fuel Prices Skyrocket

The streets of Jos, Nigeria today are void of the normal taxis, motorbikes and walkers headed to and from work, classes and the market. Apparently the entire country is on strike. Business, schools and the Abuja airport are closed. Nigerians are protesting their government’s end to a fuel subsidy that led to fuel prices immediately doubling.

It’s not that Nigeria doesn’t have enough fuel. It’s actually Africa’s largest oil producer and the sixth largest importer of oil to the United States . That’s a bit like a poor, starving man looking at a loaves of fresh bread and knowing that he can’t afford them. Imagine living on less than $2 a day, struggling day by day to survive, and then having your expenses double. In the words of one of my Nigerian friends, “This is serious.”

Faith Alive normally treats hundreds of patients each weekday. Today, they provided “skeleton service,” meaning that a small portion of their patients (and probably staff) could afford to come to the clinic. I can only wonder how this will affect the clinic’s home-based-care to the most desperate patients. Please, let’s pray that Faith Alive’s “skeleton service” doesn’t turn literal.

(Click here for a BBC article and video about the fuel subsidy.)

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