Last week, the Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, announced that the government might take up to two months to solve the present crisis of fuel shortage. As is with most cases, Nigerians have reacted to the news by cursing the authorities for bringing such bad luck upon their citizens.
The use of petroleum occupies an integral part of our daily lives, most especially, a majority of the working class who have to commute daily to work, and for domestic and work purposes that have to run on fuel to generate electricity. But even these major factors- daily transportation and electricity, do not have to be at the mercy of fuel availability. Newer and better technologies have evolved to meet our needs, and with open minds, we can harness the opportunities involved.
With the advent of the digital age, communication has become easier, faster and cheaper in the sense that one does not need to spend time and cost of transportation in order to sit and talk with families and friends. In addition to communication, the internet has permeated our daily lives, providing information needed for business in our phones and laptops, thereby making less important the need for unnecessary transportation. Common business activities like banking, bookings, buying and selling over the internet have been made cheaper and easier by eliminating the cost and hassles of transportation. So, one way to solve the issue of fuel shortage is to minimize the use of fuel through the effective use of the internet. If a person’s job per se, does not require their physical presence at the office or supervision by executives, they can work from a convenient place and send in results through the internet, considering that this means is a matter of necessity than convenience. Meetings can be held online via conference calls and chats. If phone conversations, internet banking and online markets have been made convenient and cheaper by eliminating transportation costs, the same can apply to corporate jobs too.
Another solution to conserving fuel is by providing an alternative for generating electricity in place of conventional generators. This can be achieved by investing in inverters. The inverters come in two types, those that depend solely on conventional electric supply to charge their batteries, and those that charge via solar energy in addition. Solar inverters provide electricity by converting energy from the sun trapped by photovoltaic cells in solar panels. This alternative provided by inverters though may seem expensive at first, is a worthwhile investment, in the long run, saving costs that accrue from the daily burning of fuels to generate electricity.
Having for so long been dependent on petroleum, it is then time we explored cheaper and smarter alternatives to sustain our economy.