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Subsidy removal: Nigerians take austere measures

By Jimoh Ahmed,
Adedotun Aderoboye
& Kayode Afolabi

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Many families in the country are now facing harsh economic austerity measures known as formula 0-1-0 as the hardship brought about by the removal of fuel subsidy continues to bite harder.

This formula, which surfaced in 1989 during the Babangida era according to our investigation differs from one family to another. Some families now skip breakfast adopting the formula, while others skip the afternoon, living on 1-0-1 formula. 

Similarly, the fuel subsidy removal is taking a heavy toll on people’s ability to socialize, organize, attend social events and live flamboyant lifestyle they were used to as the once boisterous social activities of the people have taken a downward dive.

An Owo resident, Mrs Adewale Adebisi who is planing the funeral of her deceased mother said the family has shunned the idea of buying aso ebi for the ceremony.

According to her, times are hard and going for costly aso ebi may be unaffordable for the family and friends.

Mrs. Adebisi, told our reporter that she and her siblings have decided to jettison aso ebi and settle for something acceptable to all.

“We have school fees to pay and many more other things to spend money on and our salaries have not changed despite the high cost of living. So, we decided to tell our people to wear white since nearly everybody has it. We can still give mama a decent burial without running into debt,” Mrs Adewale said.

Abayomi Stephen, a laboratory assistant with a private hospital in Owo, lamented that more people now trek a long distance to work or to their businesses just to manage their meagre earnings.

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“Since fuel subsidy removal and the attendant hike in transport fares, I have been trekking to work and most places I visited. The same thing with others. The streets and highways are busier now in the morning and evening when people go and return from work,” Abayomi said.

Mr Samuel Ayodele, a banker, confessed that he has adopted some cost-saving measures for survival.

“People believe that bankers are rich, it is not so. They are salary earners and no salary earner is comfortable with the inflation in the country today. I no longer put on the generator and have gone for solar just to light my house and charge our phones and sometimes to power the television for my kids.”

“I am also looking for a two-bedroom flat in the place of the four-bedroom apartment we are currently using.”

Meanwhile, social joints and beer parlours seemed to be the worst hit as they no longer get patronage.

Mrs Amaka Helen, a beer parlour operator while sharing her experience disclosed that before the fuel subsidy removal, she used to close from her shop 12.00 am but now closes around 8.30 pm.

When our reporters visited some relaxation centres and club houses in Ondo town during their bobbling hours, most of them have been abandoned.

An event centre manager who simply identified himself as Mr. Gbenga described how low patronage was affecting his workplace negatively and warned that workers could be facing retrenchment soon if the situation does not improve.

He said: “We have an event centre that has halls of different sizes. We also have a bar where people come to eat, drink and relax. The major crisis that we are facing right now is low patronage which is due to the hike in the prices of everything. This problem can lead to retrenchment of staff.”

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In a community that have suffered poor power supply which forces people to depend on generators to power their homes and businesses, there seems to be a decline in the rate at which people use generators nowadays.

A barber, Mr. Ebenezer Olasupo said “the new price of petrol has forced me to depend on chargeable clippers for my work. I only buy small quantity of petrol to charge them when they are low. If I keep buying petrol at N650 per litre, how much will I charge customers per haircut? Most don’t even want to pay N500 for hair cut.”

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