Fuel scarcity: Lagos commuters lament as cost of transportation spikes

As business activities resumed nationwide after the 2-day public holiday to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir celebration, traders, workers and other commuters in different parts of Lagos are lamenting the increasing cost of transportation due to the scarcity of fuel.

For instance, from Iyana Ipaja to Oshodi on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway used to be N300 during rush hour, however, transporters have increased the fare to N500 and N600 and sometimes, they don’t even get to their destination before forcing the passengers to alight.

Both Abuja and Lagos have been experiencing acute fuel shortage for the past two weeks, and it worsened days to the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, spreading to the metropolis, with only a few major marketers selling, while the outlets of many independent marketers remained shut.

As a result, drivers of commercial vehicles who now have to pay more than the official pump price of N165, have increased the transportation cost in recent days leaving commuters to cough out two or more times the usual fares.

Speaking on the increasing cost, Sina Dare, a banker who lives around Ipaja but works in Victoria Island said that he is now having to spend close to double of the usual amount he spends on transportation, to and from his work place.

He explained how he now budgets two times of the usual amount he spends on transport to avoid embarrassment.

“For now, the cost of transportation is relative as it depends on the route despite the fuel scarcity in place. That said, there’s a marginal adjustment in the fares by around 25 per cent from what it was before now.

Most of the commuters who bear their minds on the situation blamed the federal government for their predicament whom they accused of not taking decisive action on the pump price of PMS.

“Imagine if you spend N1,500 daily on transport fares to and fro and now witness an average of 25 per cent increment. You know what that translates into when you check it out for the monthly and annual expenditure of the individual,” Dare said.

A commercial driver who plies the route said, “We now have to stay long hours in queues to get fuel and sometimes, the little fuel we are able to get, we still burn it in traffic which has worsened due to the floods everywhere.

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