• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Subsidy gone: Shocked Lagosians recount commuting experiences Tuesday

Subsidy gone: Shocked Lagosians recount commuting experiences Tuesday

Nigerians have started feeling the physical effects of petrol subsidy removal. Commuters going to work on Tuesday morning were stuck at the bus stops and many who couldn’t work remotely were forced to walk long distances.

Queues at fuel stations appeared Monday after President Bola Tinubu’s declaration that the petrol subsidy is gone. The new president had explained while describing the pillars of his administration’s economic reforms that there is no more provision for petrol subsidy in the budget he is inheriting.

A quick survey on the streets Tuesday morning revealed a massive crowd of commuters waiting and looking frustrated at the bus stops. There was also a traffic jam as a result of cars queuing at filling stations.

Despite the queue, it was observed that most of the fuel stations were not selling but for some reason, the people just queued and waited.

Touts selling the product on the black market were observed to be selling as high as ₦1000 per litre.

For fear of the unknown, some have resorted to conserving whatever amount of fuel they currently have by not using Air conditioning in their cars.

A spike in transport fare has been reported.

“Bus fares have almost tripled from normal N300 to N700,” a commuter who left home around 6:40 from Ilewe Ikotun to Cele bus stop,” Francis recounted.

Read also: No need to panic over petrol subsidy removal- Marketers, NMDPRA

The commuter held that the public transport operators must have planned the increase overnight as all operators, even in different locations quoted the same price.

For longer distances, the increase seems slight, the commuter observed.

“There was a slight increase from the normal N700 to N800 which got everyone in the bus complaining,” the commuter said.

In Satellite Town, Lagos, the traffic was massive. Commuters in the axis had to rely on private vehicles to move.

“From Abule Ado to Mile 2, I had to pay N200 instead of the usual N100 fare,” Chinedu, another commuter said.

“Upon reaching Mile 2, I had to board another bus to CMS, but the fare was higher than usual, amounting to N500 instead of the regular N400. Commuters were left with limited choices – either trying to secure a bus, opting for a private vehicle, or resorting to paying exorbitant amounts to military personnel on motorbikes.

“I attempted to use Bolt, the ride-hailing service, but the cost forced me to join the majority in seeking alternative options. To make matters worse, my journey was further delayed by heavy traffic congestion, which lasted for over two hours. Many public bus drivers exacerbated the situation by utilising one-way routes, aggravating the traffic jam.”

The commuter walked more than five kilometres because the road was jammed with vehicle trying to get fuel.

“Despite leaving my house early, I faced significant delays and inconveniences during my commute, ultimately arriving at my workplace very late,” the commuter said.

The lamentations were the same for commuters coming from downtown Ikeja, the capital city of Lagos.

Dammy, commuting from Gbagada to Ikoyi said: “I was at the bus stop early enough, but I had heard a lady ranting about how she had been there since 6:30. It was already 8 at the time, and I thought she was exaggerating.

“There was a crowd there. Buses going to the Island approached the bus stop very sparingly. There were a few private cars that people thronged to.”

During the rush, she boarded the wrong bus. By the time she realised, she had gone very far and had paid the bus fare. She alighted and joined others waiting for the bus to Ikoyi in Ogudu.