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Expensive fuel: Nigerians adjust to new realities, avoid unnecessary trips



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Following the astronomical rise in the pump price of fuel coupled with the rising inflation in the country, many Nigerians have adjusted to the new realities, and are cutting back on unnecessary trips, and when necessary, go for the public transport system.

Consequently, most private vehicle owners in Lagos have decided to board public transportation to their offices and various destinations, while those who couldn’t afford the exorbitant fares have been left with no choice but to resort to trekking to their various destinations.

Similarly, fuel retail outlets are complaining of low patronage as sales have since dropped since the removal of fuel subsidies which saw the pump price of petrol going for as high as N700 from the N165 per litre in May.

According to some filling stations in Lagos, the hike in the price of products due to the abrupt removal of subsidies was threatening the survival of their businesses because sales have since dropped.

A marketer who spoke with National Daily, Johnson Adebayo, said fuel marketers are facing an existential challenge of low profits as a result of reduced sales and it was affecting their abilities to meet their operational cost and obligation with banks.

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It is the same story with public transport operators in Lagos who also decries the low patronage due to hike in transport fees occasioned by the increase in the pump price of fuel.

Commercial bus drivers have hiked the transport fares as high as 300 per cent. A journey that earlier cost N200, is now N600, while a journey of N100 is between N250 and N300 across the state metropolis.

According to a chairman of one of the motor parks in Egbeda, Lagos, Alhaji Liasu Jimoh, operators had to raise their fares to reflect the new economic realities, as their services were solely dependent on petrol.

“Before the fuel hike, a trip from Iyana Ipaja to Egbeda used to be N100, now it is N200 or more depending on the time of the day. Also Gate to Iyana Ipaja which used to be N100 is now N200, so you will not blame commuters if they decided to trek,” he said.


Folasade Aluko, a civil servant in Lagos said she used to spend N1200 daily on transport fare, now it has tripled. “Since May, I spend as much as N2500 daily, and sometimes it’s more.

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“Now I don’t go to work every day. We now have an arrangement among ourselves in my office. We now rotate work days to minimize what we spent on transportation alone,” she added.

Another civil servant said, “The hike in petrol has forced me to drop my car at home, I now join the staff bus home and to the office now because I cannot afford the daily cost of fuel.”

Recall that President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of subsidy on petrol during his inauguration on May 29, 2023 and this was followed by a jump in the pump price of the commodity from N185 per litre to N500.

As Nigerians were battling with the effects of the subsidy removal and awaiting the palliatives promised by the Federal Government to alleviate their suffering, a new price regime kicked off two weeks ago, resulting in petrol selling for between N586 and N630 per litre.