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Commuters angry as fare continues to rise in Abuja

Transport fares have continued to rise in the federal capital city, Abuja, further inflaming the anger of commuters in the face of the absence of…

Transport fares have continued to rise in the federal capital city, Abuja, further inflaming the anger of commuters in the face of the absence of clear information on when the situation will be resolved.

The fare hike, according to commercial motorists interviewed by City & Crime, was due to the persistent fuel scarcity and the activities of black market operators who are also unpredictable.

However, many passengers interviewed complained that the uncontrolled fare increases were eating deep into their lean purses as they paid through their noses to their places of work and business.

Yusuf Lawan, a civil servant, said he spent more than half of his salary every month to transport himself to work from Bwari.

He said, before the fuel crisis, he used to pay N300 from Kuje to Berger. “We later paid N400 but on Friday I paid N500. Who knows what we would pay tomorrow?

“When I noticed that I can no longer cope, I started lying to my supervisor that I’m sick. Yes, I have a family to take care of, but is the government doing anything to assuage the situation,” he lamented.

Another commuter, who simply gave his name as James, wondered how black marketers freely operated in and around Abuja without being tackled by the government.

“It seems to me that the government is deliberately subjecting us to this hardship to actualise its motive of subsidy removal,” he said.

He also observed that the hike in transport fares had already generated negative multiplier effects on other goods and services in the form of higher costs and prices.

“As it is now, my barber has increased the price to N500 from N300, while the car washer is charging N700 against N500 that I used to pay just last month,” he said.

A cabby, Musa Suleiman, who takes passengers from Kuje to Berger said transport fare has been increased by over 75 per cent.

“Before the fuel scarcity, we charged N300 from Zuba to Berger but the situation has forced us to increase it to N500, depending on how and where we got fuel,” he said.

Another cab driver, Shedrack, said the activities of black marketers are affecting his business negatively.

“In fact, it’s the black marketers that determine how much I will charge my customers every day because I have to operate within the profit margin.

“Yesterday, I charged N100 from passengers but today I charge N150,” he added.