Fuel Scarcity: A young man’s guide to buying petrol without spending hours on a queue
There are a few ways to beat the nasty queues at petrol stations when there is fuel scarcity
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 90s, fuel queues are back and that means one thing- fuel scarcity.
Let’s not talk about how we got here, let’s leave that to our leaders who are wondering how we got back into this mess. If you have struggled in Nigeria long enough, you would know that December period marks the fuel scarcity season.
In 2016, this did not occur because of the Buhari-led government did all it could to make sure Nigerians were not queuing for fuel on Christmas Day. Even though this led to an increase in the price of petrol, we were happy that we did not have to queue again.
Well, good things don’t last forever and the sound bites from NNPC and Abuja indicates confusion. It’s time to brace up, winter is here or in our particular case, Harmattan.
Queuing for fuel is a horrible experience but as a Nigerian, it is something that we all have to go through. If you have a car or a generator or worse if you have both you will be spending a lot of time at fuel stations.
Instead of wasting your time begging a cocky fuel attendant to fill up your car or Jerry can, these are five tricks to ensure you don’t spend the whole day at the fuel station.
1) Have a plug
In Nigeria you need a plug, a middleman who makes certain transactions move faster. When there is fuel scarcity you need a plug that would deliver litres of fuel to your doorstep. Yes, this would be at black market price but wouldn’t it be better to pay for all that time you are going to waste at the fuel station. Time is precious, and you don’t want to spend hours in a slow queue. Get a plug who would deliver all the petrol you want.
2) Go to the fuel station early
If you don’t want a plug to hook you up with expensive petrol, then you have to do it yourself. Don’t go to the fuel stations in the afternoon, evening or night. Go in the morning, very early in the morning, let’s 5 a.m. Yeah, there would be a queue but it won’t be as hectic as the ones later in the day. An early bird catches the worm.
3) ‘Sort’ your way
This is a method that works all the time. Go to your local fuel station and spot a fuel attendant that looks understanding. Approach him that you want to buy ‘x” litres of fuel but you don’t want to queue. ‘Settle’ him with a little change and he would get you your fuel in no time or bump you up the queue.
4) Use female privilege
Have you noticed that women don’t spend all day at the fuel station. That is because of what is known as female privilege. It works all the time. A woman comes to the fuel station, begs a fuel attendant to help her buy fuel. The fuel attendant agrees and in a few minutes, she’s gone. As a guy, carry a babe along to the fuel station. She can easily jump the queue and beg to be sold fuel.
5) Be ahead of the curve
You have to be a wise man to survive in Nigeria. Instead of queuing with the masses at fuel stations waiting for petrol, have a look out who will be your informant. The job of your informant is to hit you up when fuel has been delivered. When he gives you the tip quickly go to the station and buy fuel before long queue forms.