MTN May Shut Down Services As Fuel Scarcity Bites Harder

Man speaks on a mobile phone as he walks past a MTN shop at a shopping mall south of Johannesburg

MTN Nigeria says it may shut down its services due to scarcity of fuel to power its operations.

According to the company, it needs a “significant quantity of diesel in the very near future to prevent a shutdown of services across Nigeria,” it wrote on microblogging site Twitter.

“If diesel supplies are not received within the next 24 hours the network will be seriously degraded and customers will feel the impact,” it added.

In a similar move, rival telco Airtel has also said fuel scarcity may affect the quality of its services as it is finding it hard to get diesel to power its base station.

Scarcity of petroleum products has become worse in Nigeria in recent days as marketers of the products have stopped importation. They claimed that the federal government has refused to fulfill its subsidy payment obligations.

Controlling Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, however, said that the marketers have not been paid because she could not sign off monies that she would find difficult to explain to Nigerians later. She said that the marketers, who had earlier agreed with the setting up of an ad hoc committee made up of their representatives, those of Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Debt Management Office (DMO), and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to verify their claims suddenly backed out.

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