Commercial tricyclists (Keke Napep) and taxi drivers in Maiduguri have continued to receive petroleum palliatives from philanthropists to cushion the effect of subsidy removal in Borno State.
Daily Trust Saturday learnt that the conditions of these tricyclists, motocyclists and commercial drivers was further worsened with the introduction of the 70 metro buses deployed by the state government that charged only N50. This crashed the general transportation fare in Maiduguri and its environs, leaving the the tricyclists and commercial drivers left with less passengers as most commuters opted for the N5o buses.
However, recently to cushion the effects, philanthropists contracted fuel stations to sell petrol at N430 as palliative against the official price of N637 in Borno State.
One of the philanthropist, Ibrahim Jibrin Mohammed who operates some fuel stations said he was inspired by the gesture of the First Lady Mrs Oluremi Tinubu supporting the poor and disaster victims across the country.
“What you are seeing here is just a flagoff of the petrol palliative to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, and we will replicate the same in six states of the country’s geopolitical zones,” he said
The palliative intervention, which took place at two petrol stations witnessed unprecedented number of motorists and tricycle operators scrambling to gain access to the subsidised fuel.
In one of the fuel stations at Damboa road, the representative of the philanthropist, Abba Kaka Hassan, said the intervention was conceived to re-enforce what the government is doing to cushion the sufferings of the masses.
“The government of president Tinubu had distributed palliatives to states, while the state government intervened in many ways, that’s why he insisted on supporting the transporters to keep them in business and ease the cost for commuters.
A Keke Napep operator, Yakub Bukar, who benefited from the palliative said the support was apt and timely at this crucial period when citizens are facing the brunt of the fuel subsidy removal.
“This is a very good effort from this good Samaritan, and if this will continue, it will go a long way in ameliorating the suffering of the masses.
He, however, appealed to other well to do individuals to emulate the gesture of Ibrahim Jibrin Mohammed for betterment of the society.
Another beneficiary, Ashaya Aklahyel, said the intervention has given him relief as most of the time he records a loss at the close of work daily.
“You will wake up in the morning and criss-cross the town without getting a single passenger. And the fuel you burnt is counted as lost, so by the time you retire home, one may not even have money to feed his family.
“So, this is the type of intervention we need to help us stay afloat. We don’t want the government to give us anything if the fuel will be subsidised,” he said.
The State Secretary of Keke Napep Participants/Riders Development Association, Isyaka Ado commended the philanthropists for the petroleum palliative, saying it will go a long way in reducing the hardship that the tricyclists are facing in the state.
“Many riders could not cope with the increase in price, so they were forced out of the business, but with philanthropists like Ibrahim Jibrin, they regained their lost means of livelihood.
“I also want to appeal to the well-to-do in the society to replicate what he did to keep our members in the business and this will trickle down to commuters who may not even have the transport fare. Because, even the riders do help and are willing to continue to help,” he added.