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Deal Reached to End Nigeria Fuel Crisis

  • VOA News

Nigeria's fuel wholesalers say they have reached a deal with the government to resume fuel distribution, ending a crisis that brought airlines, banks and phone companies to a standstill.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association said Monday after meeting with Nigeria's finance minister that it will call off its campaign of fuel depot closures.

The fuel wholesalers had stopped distributing the commodity, alleging the government owed them $1 billion. Government officials had said the wholesalers had been fully paid.

It is not clear what deal was negotiated in Monday's meeting.

The fuel shortage left domestic airlines grounded and left gas stations across the country dry. It also affected banks and phone companies who rely on a steady supply of diesel to power generators because of a shortage of public electricity in the country.

The crisis came to a head just days before the inauguration of the country's new president, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday.

Buhari was elected on a platform of tackling widespread corruption. He is the first Nigerian opposition candidate to defeat a sitting president.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer, but it must import most of its fuel because it does not have many functioning refineries. The government keeps prices at the pump low by subsidizing oil importers.

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