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Transport costs skyrocket amid fuel subsidy removal

Article summary

  • Nigerians are already feeling the heat from the declaration of fuel subsidy removal by President Tinubu.
  • Bolt rides as well as bus fares have increased significantly in Lagos.
  • Nigerians believe the president should not have made the announcement on May 29 without putting measures in place to protect the people.

Nigerians are suffering the effects of the new president’s statement on the removal of fuel subsidy on Monday, May 29.

Many Lagos residents have taken to social media to show their frustration and disbelief as transport costs have significantly increased in the last few hours. Checks by TheTimes shows that a lot of commuters in Lagos were stranded this morning as there were few commercial buses on the roads.

This is because a lot of vehicles are on petrol queues across Lagos state.

Ridiculous price scenarios

Drop-off prices for the popular mobility app, Bolt have increased and Nigerians are showing their frustration over the situation. On Tuesday morning, some Lagosians shared new Bolt prices via social media which are rather high, especially for drop-off locations that are not so distant from pick-up spots.

For instance, Bolt now charges N5000 to N7000 per drop from Airport Road to Gbagada. Meanwhile, Maryland to Yaba costs N3300 to N4500. Meanwhile, Yaba to Obalende costs N8650.

Also, Bolt charges between N4300 to N8600 from Lekki conservation road to Obalende. Some Lagosians also allege that Sienna vehicles are charging between N1500 to N2000 from Oshodi to Lekki per drop.

Meanwhile, danfo buses that are active on the road are charging up to N1500 per drop from Mowe to Berger, and N300 per drop from Abule Oja to Oyigbo. Also, some buses are charging N800 from Cele to Berger. Danfo buses also charge N700 from Yaba to Obalende.

A vicious cycle

Blessing Ohiowere, who spoke to TheTimes said the scenario playing out in Lagos is a dog-eat-dog situation. She said transporters are stuck at petrol stations, but those who spent the night hustling for fuel are on the roads, hiking prices.

According to her, market women and other traders on the road are also paying twice to transport their goods to open markets, where they will be charged twice as much by informal tax collectors, all because of fuel subsidy removal.

In turn, these traders will hike the cost of their goods, to make up for their expenses in transport and informal taxes, so, it’s a vicious cycle.

Does the president have a choice?

Oil and gas analyst, Kayode Oluwadare told TheTimes that for eight years, the Buhari administration did not put measures in place to ease the burden the masses will encounter when fuel subsidy is finally removed.

According to him, the buck now rests on the Tinubu administration which has no choice but to remove the fuel subsidy. However, it was expected that palliatives will be put in place to reduce the burden on Nigerians, before the announcement.

What you should know

This fallout could go on for weeks which could spiral out of control. Recall that in the past, petrol stations have shut down and hiked petrol prices, just to take advantage of customers.

Meanwhile, these erring stations have not truly suffered any consequences. This leaves the poor masses, who have no choice but to bear the brunt of actions stemming from ill-prepared policy statements from an unprepared government.

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