By Rafiu Ajakaye
One of the major banks in Nigeria has decided to reduce operation hours as of Monday, blaming the new schedule on the biting fuel scarcity across the country.
“The current shortage of petroleum products in the country has limited our ability to supply diesel to all our branches in order to continue normal branch operations,” Guarantee Trust Bank (GTBank) said in a correspondence to its customers.
“Due to this, we unavoidably have to close our branches nationwide at 1pm from Monday,” it announced.
“We assure you that we will continue to work hard at finding alternative solutions to this situation and will advise you once the situation has abated,” added the bank.
GTBank is a public liability company with branches across Nigeria and in a number of countries in West Africa and East Africa.
One of the 25 mega banks in Nigeria, GTBank has an “asset base of over 2trillion naira and has up to 10,000″ staff across the countries where it has branches, according to its corporate statement.
Other banks and other big businesses are expected to announce similar measures soon unless the situation improves.
Petroleum products have become very scarce across Nigeria in the past weeks, with the situation worsening in the last four days.
Most gas stations have shut down as petroleum marketers battle government for payment of subsidy claims which the government in turn insists are questionable.
A liter of petrol goes for between N300 and N500 at the increasingly vanishing black market, instead of the N87 official price.
The cost of transportation has more than tripled in the process.
Major mobile telephoning firms have also been cutting services as a result of the crisis. (Anadolu Ajansi)