The hike in petrol price from N195 to N540 by oil marketers has left many workers unable to go to work as transport fare has doubled.
The oil marketers including the federal government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) began a new price regime on Wednesday following a pronouncement by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the oil subsidy regime is gone.
In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a trip from Bwari to Berger and Area 1 in Abuja that hitherto cost N500 increased to N800/N1000, while Kubwa to Berger and Wuse jumped to N500/N600 from N300.
Lugbe to the Federal Secretariat and Area 10 is now N400 from N200, while Nyanya/Mararaba to Berger now costs N400 from N250/N300.
A civil servant, Oladehinde Ruth, told our reporter on Thursday that many workers who had to go to work in public vehicles were experiencing difficulties.
“Many of us who don’t follow the ministry vehicles have difficulties paying for transport. Our salaries haven’t increased, yet the transport cost has increased. The government should help us out,” Ruth said.
Abigail Yakubu, a worker at Banex Plaza, who expressed shock at the N200 fare increase to her destination, said she had been waiting for a long time to get a vehicle at the normal rate.
Rufus Bello, a grade seven civil servant, said he couldn’t go to work due to the situation.
“I used to spend N1,500 to and fro but with the way things are now, when I went on Wednesday I spent close to N3,000 to and fro. So, today I decided to stay at home. I pray this is resolved soon,” Bello said.
The situation was the same in Yobe, Nasarawa and many other states across the country as commuters lamented.
Many primary and secondary school students were seen trekking long distances to their various schools in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, yesterday.
One of them who spoke to one of our correspondents said, “As for me, the N200 my mummy gave me cannot cover my expenses to and from school, so I will spend it on snacks as I trek the long journey.”
Traders lamented a significant drop in sales as because many could not come to the market because of the hike in transport fares.
Protest in Edo over petrol price hike
The situation triggered a protest in Edo State as residents yesterday blocked the Benin-Lagos Highway and other areas in the Benin metropolis.
The protesters who are mainly members of the Edo State Civil Society Organisation (EDOCSO) called for an urgent reversal of the fuel pump price, saying Nigerians are already confronted with numerous challenges.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as “Nigerians can’t buy petrol at N520 but N210,” and “Petrol must be N210 till July end.”
The protest caused gridlock on the road while ant commuters had to trek to their destinations
Addressing journalists, former coordinator general of (EDOCSO) Omobude Agho, said the protest was to gain the attention of the president so that he could reconsider the decision on the fuel pump price to relieve the plight of the masses.
He added that if by today the government didn’t address the situation more areas would be activated for the protest.
By Seun Adeuyi (Abuja), Umar Muhammed (Lafia), Usman A. Bello (Benin), Habibu Idris Gimba (Damaturu) & Adenike Kaffi (Ibadan)