Samuel Edu, Jimoh Ahmed, Owo
Adedotun Aderoboye & Kayode Afolabi, Ore
The removal of fuel subsidy is taking a huge toll on many sectors of the nation’s economy, as lawyers have now doubled their appearance fees.
Also affected are civil servants across the country, traders, students, commercial drivers and vehicle owners, many of whom have resulted to trekking long distance.
The Hope learnt that many of the legal counsel have been staying away from the courts as a result of the fuel crisis as many of them have written to the court seeking adjournment of their cases
Some of the litigants were not happy for coming to the courts without their case being heard having spent heavily on transportation.
Those who spoke with The Hope berated the government, stressing that the subsidy was removed without the government having a second thought on how to cushion its effects.
Olaniyi Oladele said, “before now, I usually use N8,000 fuel in a week and I manage to use fuel worth between N25,000 to N30,000 in a month but with the current price, I will be using between N70,000 to N75,000 fuel per month.
“I still do not know how I want to cope with this situation bearing in mind that my salary is static. Even if I say I would trek the distance between my house to my office, how will my children trek to school?
“This is a very sorry situation at the moment and the government could have done better. They should have made enough plans on how to reduce the effect of this on the masses.
An okada rider, Ogunniyi Olaoluwa said “if I buy N500 fuel, by the time I carry passengers for about four times, the fuel is already exhausted and I cannot have more than N300 profit, this implies that I used the fuel to realize N800 in all.
“Out of this money, I will eat, I will maintain my motorcycle and at the end of the day, I will have to take something back home for my family.
“How exactly does the government want us to cope with this? The timing for this is really wrong and I personally do not think this should be acceptable.
While narrating his own ordeals, a petty business man, Kehinde Olakunle who deals in photocopying, passport photograph, printing said, “I usually use N2000 to buy 10liters of fuel before, but now, this same N2000 can only buy 4liters.
“The most worrysome part of it is that customers will still want you to do business for them at the price you usually do it before the subsidy was removed.
“It is difficult for me to make profit these days, I am only coming to shop so I will not sit at home, it gets messier on a daily basis.
A widow and a mother of four said “three of my children are in secondary school, they are old enough and mature so they cannot lap, I have to pay for their transport fare on a daily basis.
“Initially, I do give them N400 each day for transport. With the current transport fare, I am yet to know how I will cope. This is just another means of imposing hardship on the masses.”
A painter in Ondo town, Mr. Samuel Ayomide said “since this subsidy was removed, I have not earn one naira from my painting job. Not even a customer has called me to write ordinary quotation. Everyone is busy with more important things. I have been spending my savings to take care of my responsibilities since then. I don’t know how long this suffering will last. We have not seen anything done by the government since they removed the subsidy. Are we going to continue like this? We need to see actions from the government. The suffering is too much.”
A trader, Mrs. Gloria Adewale said “I have been spending more money on transportation and buying goods from the market since the price of petrol went up last week but my sales have also dropped. It is not even about increasing the prices of the goods at all. Most of the things I sell are still at old prices but people are not coming to buy them. There is no money and we are spending so much on fuel and other things. Apart from foodstuffs that I am still managing to sell, the other goods are just there on the shelf.”
Report from Ondo North Senatorial District said residents have continued to lament the pains and hardship they are facing over subsidy removal.
Mrs Kudirat Adeola, a trader said ever since the hike in price of petrol courtesy of subsidy removal, life has not been the same again.
According to her, prices of consumer goods, transport fares and services have also gone up.
In the same vein, a local government employee, Mrs Temitayo Olabisi, stated that the removal has brought untold hardship on her and her colleagues as transport cost has gone up.
Mrs Olabisi, however, wants President Tinubu to consider an increase in the take home of workers in the country with a living wage in mind.
Alhaji, Kareem Olowosaudi, a timber contractor, who queried the rationale behind the rush in removing subsidy want a review.
Olowosaudi, said although subsidy is not good for the country in the long run but there is the need to be cautious.