Some civil servants in Enugu metropolis Wednesday abandoned their private cars and resorted to trekking and boarding commercial vehicles with the price of a litre of premium motor spirit selling at N600.
Speaking with THE WHISTLER on Thursday, some of them working at the state secretariat said they came to work in commercial vehicles. Ikenna Chikodili said, “I have no option with this development. I boarded a commercial bus from Agbani road. The price has also increased from N200 to N300, but far cheaper than buying a litre of PMS at N600 or N550 which it sells at most filling stations in the city. I now budget N600 every day, and will henceforth avoid unnecessary journeys.”
Hillary Mbamalu was seen driving his car to the office. He said, “I had some reserves in the tank. I drove because I needed to drop off my kids at the University Secondary School. But I am thinking of options when the PMS I have is exhausted. My salary can’t sustain this development. Even commercial drivers have increased their fares by over 100%. Maybe the option would be to find schools close to my house so that there may be no need for school run any longer.”
For Emeka Osondu, “I worked from my house to the office. It is about minutes’ work from Agu-Abor to the secretariat. For now, that is my option. Keke riders have doubled their fare. I am on grade level 4, and have a family to take care of. Let us hope that in the long run, this fuel subsidy removal will solve our common hardship as our leaders make us believe.”
A commercial driver, Thomas Ogbuka, blamed the rush with which President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the fuel subsidy removal for the increased suffering residents of the metropolis currently pass through.
According to him, “He might have meant well, after all it is the out-gone president Muhammadu Buhari that removed the subsidy from the budget. But Tinubu announcing it during his inaugural address means he was not properly advised. He has succeeded only in enriching petroleum marketers who now smile to bank to the detriment of Nigerians who had thought that Buhari had left with his difficult government.”
Kelvin Ugwuoke, an industrial psychologist, said President Tinubu had started wrongly. In his words, “This is a clear problem most of our leaders have. In other climes, he should have had a roundtable with petroleum marketers to decide the best approach in the interest of the masses. I read that the removal of the subsidy should take effect this June. He should have engaged the stakeholders, and also sensitised the masses ahead of time. The plight of ordinary Nigerians, especially poor income earners who transport themselves to their places of work worries me. The hardship is now a continuum from Buhari’s era. Let the government engage professionals in some of its decisions as a departure from the past when administration was an all-comers’ affair.”