The Nigerian economy seems to be synonymous with fuel scarcity. It does not seem to matter which regime is in charge, every couple of years, or in some cases months, the problem of fuel scarcity rears its ugly head. Every regime follows the typical playbook in dealing with the scarcity: sympathize with Nigerians and talk about how they shouldn’t be wasting useful hours queueing for fuel; talk about how marketers, smugglers, and various middlemen are sabotaging the economy for their own selfish interests; promise to revamp the refineries; pay off marketers so they can settle their debts, import new products and flood the market with fuel, with the hopes that it makes the scarcity go away. In all this we often forget to ask ourselves a simple question: Is fuel scarcity the problem or is it just a symptom of the problem? First, we should clarify exactly why we […]