One young man is taking the Nigerian fuel crisis into his own hands, quite literally.
“It’s insane,” said Subomi Owo-Odusi, founder of FueledUp, describing the interest in his business, an app due to launch at the end of May that will deliver fuel straight to its users in Lagos. “A lot of people are keen,” he said.
“This will take away a lot of the pain and pressure and stress of people waiting for hours,” said the 23-year-old Owo-Odusi, describing the situation in Nigeria, which is witnessing another round of fuel shortages and leaving many to wait in line for hours.
Nigeria is no stranger to a fuel crisis. Despite being Africa’s largest oil producer, it had massive fuel shortages a year ago which nearly paralyzed the country. Long lines became the norm, and crowds of people had to push their way through gas stations with jerry cans at hand.
In the past several days, the ongoing shortage of fuel has hit another crisis point and many locals have taken to social media to vent their frustration.
Fuel is used not just for cars and trucks in Nigeria, but also commonly used to power generators for homes and businesses across the country. Many Nigerians commonly have limited electricity daily.
Working in a fuel distribution company for the past two years, Owo-Odusi said the idea came to him from his experiences of life in Lagos. “I understand the stress that people here have,” said the enthusiastic Lagos native.
How it works?
After downloading the app, users will be able to touch a “Get FueledUp” button, which shows the price per liter. Then, the user enters how much fuel they need, vehicle information and choose a delivery time frame.
There are three tiers: priority which delivers in 30 minutes to an hour, expectant which promises delivery in 30 minutes to two hours, and flexible which has a three hour guarantee. Delivering on time, in traffic-laden Lagos, is the major priority, said Owo-Odusi.
Receipts will be sent and messages will alert users once their fuel is delivered.
The fee for such a service will be the cost of the fuel plus a small fee for the delivery. The fees are still being determined, but Owo-Odusi said a high volume business will help keep the costs low for customers.
Owo-Odusi says his background and contacts at depots in Lagos will ensure his company gets the fuel they need. Undeterred, he said his network on social media, is also helping get the word out about his upcoming launch.
Though the app has yet to launch, Owo-Odusi is ready to expand. “The vision is past Lagos.”
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