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Auto mechanics in Jigawa groan over low patronage

Auto mechanic workshops in Jigawa are experiencing lull in activities as few car owners come to fix one problem or the other in recent time. …

Auto mechanic workshops in Jigawa are experiencing lull in activities as few car owners come to fix one problem or the other in recent time. 

This is as prices of spare parts have more than doubled after fuel subsidy removal that saw unprecedented rise in the price of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) from an average of N200 to N700 today. 

In Dutse, Jigawa State capital, private car owners now use commercial vehicles to commute because the cost of fuel has significantly increased, leaving the major roads often scanty. Many others either use motorcycles which consume less fuel or even bicycle to get to their destinations.

However, while this works for the car owners, it has left auto mechanics lamenting.

A visit to mechanic village in Dutse reveals that most of the workshops are empty as there are no vehicles to repair and many mechanics were seen laying down to catch a sleep while waiting for their clients.

Forty-year-old Adamu Abubakar, an auto mechanic in Dutse, said he has a wife and two children but struggles to put food on the table for his family as getting car repair jobs has become very scarce now.

Abubakar said before the subsidy removal, patronage was okay as car owners were always coming to the workshop for their services. 

“Things have changed. We can stay throughout the day without any body coming here to fix or repair his vehicle. We sometimes sleep or just engage in arguments to while away time,” Abubakar said.

He said the hardship is taking a toll on them since it is only when vehicles are brought for repairs that they can make money to take care of their families.

Abubakar said he is worried that his wife and children are not being well fed on account of fewer and scarce repair jobs.

The auto mechanic called on the government to address the economic hardship in the country before hunger and starvation send Nigerians to their early graves.

Another auto mechanic, 32-year-old Abdulrashid Haruna, also shared his predicament on not getting regular jobs to cater for his family.

He said he has been in the job for over 12 years but has never seen difficult times like now.

According to Haruna, if vehicle owners do not come for repairs, then auto mechanics have no job or food to eat, with the multiplier effects on their defendants and the economy.

Haruna, however, said they thank Allah for the little that comes their way as they are managing the situation, hoping that things would change for the better.

“This problem is a fate we cannot escape from as it must happen, but this hardship is not a joke, we are suffering seriously,” he stated. 

Abdulrashid said inflation is forcing most car owners to stop using them in view of the cost of maintenance and fuelling the cars, noting that some commercial drivers can fix their vehicles if they encounter simple problems.

He said only prayers can change the situation because their job depends on others coming to repair their cars, and at the moment, very few are coming unlike before.

According to him, only those selling food stuff are in business as everyone’s concern is what to eat first. He called for governments’ quick intervention.

Taiwo James, an upholstery interior worker at the mechanic village in Dutse, also said Nigerians need prayers now because the current hardship has not shown any signs of abating.

He said he sometimes takes only tea and sleeps because to eat two times in a day is difficult.

James said even the cheaper foods they used to buy as alternatives are expensive now, making it difficult for them to eat three times a day with jobs not forthcoming.

He also called on the government to do the needful by addressing the current hardship in the country. 

A spare parts and car accessories seller at the Mechanic Village, Mannir Kamaluddeen, said these days, they just  come to the workshop to sleep.

He said he hardly sells accessories worth what he needs to feed his family, adding that absence of patronage is making the situation worse.

Mannir said life has generally changed because what he could afford before is now unaffordable.

Until now, auto mechanic’s job was thriving in Nigeria because of the number of vehicles in the country and the need to maintain them, which means business for the likes of Abdulrasheed Haruna and his colleagues.


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