Fuel Price Increase: Nigerians Groan in Excruciating Pain as Prices Soar

Fuel Price Increase: Nigerians Groan in Excruciating Pain as Prices Soar

From Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt to Osun, Onitsha to Makurdi, it is the same story of lamentation and pains as prices of goods and services have spiraled beyond the reach of the common man. This is the aftermath of the removal of subsidy on fuel which has taken the price of petrol to over

From Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt to Osun, Onitsha to Makurdi, it is the same story of lamentation and pains as prices of goods and services have spiraled beyond the reach of the common man. This is the aftermath of the removal of subsidy on fuel which has taken the price of petrol to over N600.00 in two months of deregulation. Petrol sold for N195 as at May 29, when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu took over the leadership of Nigeria.

Mr. Chuma Ejikeme, an Abuja based social media influencer sounded spiritual and likened the situation in the country to what King Rehoboam told the Israelites that “My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions”.

Everywhere you turn, it is an avalanche of complaints and Nigerians are fast coming to a verdict that the past regime of President Buhari may have fared better than the Tinubu’s regime despite adjudging that administration as having performed below average and some of its policies anti-people.

Nigerians are being scourged everywhere and have expressed their frustration with the skyrocketing fuel prices, which have affected the cost of transportation, food prices and other basic needs. Most of the people who spoke to NDR, expressed anger at the government for making life difficult for them, even as it is yet to make available the promised palliatives to cushion the effect of the high cost of living.

Nigeria they opined may be sitting on a keg of gunpowder as the songs of praise, previously on their lips for President Tinubu upon his election have turned to pure lamentations and gnashing of teeth. A dispatch rider, Mr. John Madaki said most dispatch riders in Abuja are just burning the expensive petroleum products they bought following the fuel price increase. “It is not easy. Places we used to take N1000 when fuel was N195, now that fuel is N617, if we tell customers to pay N2000, they will not pay. We just burn the expensive fuel we buy”, Mr. Madaki said.

Mr John Madaki

Mr Chukuwudi Ode, a commercial motorcycle rider, popularly known as Okada decried the arbitrary increase of fuel price, because the development is impeding his business as a transport worker. He, however, urged the government to restore the removed subsidy to create an enabling environment for Nigerians to live comfortably.

“The high cost of Petrol is really affecting us and it is not us alone, it affects the salary earners as well. And because it is affecting them, we are suffering. Most of them their salaries are not even enough. Now imagine the cost of transportation. Sometimes we pity them, but what can we do? As you can see, I have been under the sun since morning and bought fuel for over ₦600 and there are no passengers to carry and we can’t drink that fuel in our tank. People have decided to stay at home due to the cost of transportation.

“The government should please put an end to this. They should please return the fuel subsidy before the end of this month”, Mr Ode Said

Mr Ogbo another commercial motorcycle rider opined that “our leaders are living in another world, there is a big difference between the poor and the rich, when they were campaigning they promised us everything but now we can see that everything was a lie, they are now doing as if nobody exists.

“Look at it now, it is expected that before you can make a policy as a government, you should make provision for people, like employment and other things but their own is not like that they just make policies without thinking about us. It is so bad that people are just recovering from the money swap policy and this one came to remove subsidy, increasing fuel to a high rate.

For Ms Modupe Akole, a textile seller in Abuja,:” We are managing. It is not easy. The head is very hot. Very hot bringing out smoke. We are tired. This is not what we bargained for. When the price of petrol was N540 we were not balanced. Now, that it is N617 per liter, it has affected everything. The (Batik) Adire textile we used to buy at N7500, is now N9,500 and this is minus money for waybill and transportation”.

Miss. Miracle Ogbonna a fashion designer who stays in Goza borehole bustop but works at ACO/AMAC Estate said until the pump price increase the transportation fare was N50 but now she pays N150, that is minus feeding, she stressed. Another restaurant owner, Madam Stella Okoh – Esene said prices of raw food stuffs have gone up. “What we used to buy for N10,000 is now N17,000. One tuber of yam is between N2,500-N3000, meanwhile, transport fare has increased by 300 percent. From where I live to my shop is N400. I have a bar and people are no longer buying drinks, they prefer to eat. A carton of Guinness Stout is now N11,700 but before we buy it for N7500.

“Government should work on fuel price so that prices of things can come down. Government should provide more vehicles”, she stressed”. Mr. Sunday Odeh, a commercial driver, said: “the first pump price increase hit us hard, now, the latest increase is a killer. Commuters refused to pay N500 this morning they insisted they were going to pay N400. “Even drop, since morning only one car has picked a passenger. Now, some people prefer to trek half of the journey to conserve funds.

Mr Sunday Odeh, Abuja Cab Driver

According to Mr Odeh, some ladies now prefer to wear canvas so that they can trek unhindered. “Honestly, if they want to give us a burden, government should give us the one we have the capacity to carry”, stressing that there ought to be Palliatives on ground before the initial increase in the pump prices of petroleum products.

Mr. Chukwudi Odeh

Having waited for a while at Sango Otta motor park, pleading with transport workers for a reduction of price, Rotimi Oluwatimileyin, an undergraduate student of the University of Lagos could not hide his frustration, he told NDR that the removal of fuel subsidy has caused lots of pains to average Nigerians.

Mr. Rotimi Oluwatimileyin

“The problem is that the level of the expenses is now higher than the level of the income and to balance this in this economy is a difficult task due to the removal of fuel subsidy. According to what they told us, they said the removal of fuel subsidy will make the country better but now we are seeing the opposite. I believe there was supposed to be a process before removing the subsidy, but they ignored it, see how we are suffering.

“I used to take Sango to Agege for ₦400 before, but now they are insisting on ₦600. There is nothing to say that the government has failed us. They must reverse the policy before people start dying of hunger and unending trekking. If I had my way, I would be trekking, but how many kilometres will I cover?”, he lamented.

Sharing her feelings, Mrs Ilésanmí, a market trader also lamented, calling the government to attend to the cost of transportation which has affected her sales ” We are suffering from hunger, the cost of transportation has gone high and because of that we no longer make sales as people have stopped coming to the market. They shouted awalokan but now, it seems they don’t know what they are doing anymore.

Mrs Ilesanmi

“President Tinubu promised us comfort during his campaign, but we are all in agony. The cost of commercial vehicles and okada that we used to pay ₦100 has risen to ₦400, how do they want us to survive that? Help us beg the government to make life easier for us. They should make food available, the cost of transportation cheap, good roads and jobs for our children. We don’t want more than that,” she pleaded.

In the same light, another market trader, Mrs Toyin Aladeshe lamented that the cost of transportation is a major barrier for her and her colleagues to even get, “The suffering is too much, we can’t even restock our goods due to the high cost of fuel. The cost of transportation does no⁷t even commensurate with our gains anymore. Even the drivers are frustrated but they cannot do anything because of what the fuel price is presenting to them.

Mrs Toyin Aladese

“I really wish the government could reverse the subsidy removal policy. They said they will give us ₦8000, that will not be sufficient, I have children that I take care of, how can that small money even be enough for me. The subsidy removal is a bad thing, they should pity we the masses

As far as Mr. Abduljamiu, a commercial bus driver, was concerned, the government was inconsiderate with its policy. He asked the government to beat down the cost of fuel and provide food supply to the country.

“This country is so difficult to live in now, and everything falls back on the fuel price. This Morning some filling stations are moving towards ₦700, some are still selling ₦600, but with that people have refused to come out to board vehicles.

“You know even the passengers are only trying, how much are they earning that they will pay such money for transportation, this is the time for the government to make life easier for us, not to make us suffer.”

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