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How motorists, mechanics, spare parts dealers are managing under the lockdown

Motorists, mechanics and spare parts dealers in Kaduna have lamented how the current lockdown is affecting them, saying it has caused increase in prices of…

Motorists, mechanics and spare parts dealers in Kaduna have lamented how the current lockdown is affecting them, saying it has caused increase in prices of goods and services, and undue hardship to the common man.

A cross section of people, who spoke with Arewa Trust Weekly, said they had to engage in servicing their vehicles at home which is more expensive.

Taofeeq Imam, a mechanic, said he had stopped going to his workshop due to the lockdown, adding that sometimes trusted customers pick him up to repair cars at their homes.

He said he has a backlog of cars that require parts replacement which he could only purchase from Lagos but the inter-state travel ban in place has made it difficult to get them.

“Customers need to drive their cars before they make the decisions on whether the need the service of a mechanic.

“The current situation in the state does not allow that because there is a  restriction on vehicular movement.

“Fixing a car is an endeavour that cannot be done at once. It involves working on it for several days as well as getting it tested before giving it  back to the owner.”

Though he said lack of usage of cars can result in damage of the car battery, he advised on daily change of water in the radiator and checking the oil to ensure it does not dry up.

Abubakar Mohammed, another mechanic, corroborated Taofeeq’s story, noting that many of his customers, who need his services and cannot wait till the town is open come and  pick him from home to repair their cars.

“The lockdown has not been easy because we have to wait till the road is officially opened before we can go to our workshop, if not there will be nobody there and it is not even worth it because the little money you have, you might spend it to pay for fine since you are not supposed to be out of your home.

On how they get spare parts, he said, “Most of the spare parts dealers  now keep  their goods at  home, so when we need parts, you can call your  customer and meet him at home. This is also because their union has placed a sanction for members who open their shops.”

Also, a spare parts dealer at the old pantaka market, Chinonye Onyigbo, told Arewa Trust Weekly that he only opened his shop at the request of a customer and close immediately after the transaction to avoid running afoul of the law.

On how he gets to the market despite the ban on movement, he said at times he gets “charged” by security operatives to allow him access to the road.

“Before I go to the market, I ensure that the person who called is a trusted and serious  buyer. When I get there, I give the customer what he needs as fast as possible since the transaction would have been concluded on the phone.”

While admitting that the lockdown has crippled the spare parts business, he said those whose stocks have finished found it difficult to restock since they buy from either Lagos or Onitsha.

Meanwhile,  Khalifa Ahmad, who resides at Angwan Rimi, said since his mechanic operates in his neighbourhood, he has been able to get his car fixed whenever it develops a fault.

“Since the commencement of the lockdown, my car had developed a little problem, and I took it to my mechanic. He lives in the community also, so whenever I need his services, he meets me at his workshop,” he stated.

Another resident of Unguwan Dosa, Sadiq Adamu, said for the past two weeks, he has  had to spend the whole day at the mechanic workshop to fix his car because of the number of customers who visited the workshop at the same time due to the lockdown.

He said, “Before the lockdown, a mechanic will focus on only your car for repairs before  he moves to another car, but because of the lockdown, customers get agitated and the mechanics have to move from one car to the other making the wait-to-get -your -car- fixed longer.”

He prayed the situation comes to an end soonest so that life can go back to normal.