By Sade Adewale,
Workers across the country are facing tough time as many have abandoned their personal vehicles for public transportation, leaving many offices’ car parks empty due to the removal of fuel subsidy.
Besides, investigation by The Hope revealed that many of the public workers have abdicated their duty posts with many queuing on the roads begging for free rides.
It was gathered that some who could not afford not to go to work but could not get free ride, said they trekked long distances before getting to their offices.
When The Hope visited some offices, workers absence was more pronounced at the local government Secretariats, as some of the once bubbling offices have become shadows of themselves.
Also, reports from Osogbo in Osun State and Abere in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state capital revealed that workers resorted to trekking long distances to get to their places of work and businesses as intra State transport fares skyrocketed.
The Hope learnt that many car owners most of whom were government workers have abandoned their vehicles due to inability to purchase petrol at N500 per litre.
At the Osun State secretariat in Osogbo, our correspondent during a visit saw few civil servants driving in their cars while many others resorted to public transportation, with the mini buses popularly called Korope to their offices.
“Korope’ charges N200 per drop on long distance while short distances is N100.
Mrs. Ajoke Akinwumi of Osun State Ministry of Education, hinted that she has decided to abandon her car and resorted to taking public transport to work.
She explained that her Toyota Camry is now parked at home since a litre of fuel sells for N500.
“This is not limited to me. Many of my colleagues now come to work in public transport. As you can see that various car parks in our ministry are empty, only the big ogas can come with their cars because they can afford it.
Also speaking, Mr Jide Akirinmola, a civil servant disclosed that the situation has taken a worrisome dimension as everything has gone up due to removal of subsidy.
He stated that many government workers and private car owners are now going to work with ‘Korope’ or okada.
According to him, many workers are now showing lackadaisical attitude to work as some come late while many have chosen to stay back at home .
Akirinmola who called on the state Government to emulate what Edo state government did by reviewing workers’ salaries and reduce the number of days workers should come to work hinted that these are parts of measures to cushion the effects.
In his contribution, Alhaji Ajibade who works in Osun Ministry of Finance said if nothing is urgently done to cushion the effects, many workers may choose to stay at home
A staff of Ondo East Local government council, Mr. Fatai Akande said: “I live in Ondo and work at Bolorunduro. Before now, I used to spend N1000 daily on transportation to the secretariat but it has increased to N2000.
“It is very difficult for civil servants in the local government council at this period. If our total attendance in the past was 300 daily, it has fallen below 50 percent now.”
A staff of Ondo West local government council who does not want his name mentioned said “before the removal of subsidy that led to the increment in the pump price of petrol, salaries paid to workers were just peanuts considering the economic situation in the country.
“As a result of this, more than 60 percent of workers don’t come to work as they should because they cannot cope with the current situation. The population at the secretariat is very scanty nowadays.
“Many of our staff can no longer afford to drive their cars to the secretariat because they cannot afford to buy the petrol they need. Other states are already taking actions to help their workers cope with the situation.
“Ondo state government need to take steps that will help workers survive the hardship. It will also help improve attendance at work.”
Mr Ayodele Awolope a staff of the judiciary in Ondo said the situation has affected the life style.
Mrs Idown Ayorinde said “Things will be better soon because things are hard now for us. Now I spend N1000 to and fro because my place is far from my workplace. Before, it was N400.
“If it is on like this for months, I don’t think people will be able to go to work,” she added.