Transport costs increase, commuters stranded in Lagos amid petrol price hike



Commuters in some parts of Lagos had to pay more to get to their destinations on Tuesday, following President Bola Tinubu’s pronouncement that “petrol subsidy is gone”.


Soon after the unexpected remark on Monday, queues for petrol reappeared across filling stations in the country.


The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) blamed the situation on panic buying.


On the other hand, consumers complained that some filling stations, which were operating before Tinubu’s declaration, shutdown their outlets.


Due to the development, transit fares in Lagos grew exponentially on Tuesday morning, with petrol selling for as high as N500 per litre in some areas.


Chukwudi, a phone accessories salesperson, said journeying to his kiosk in Alakija was a daunting task, as he had to pay more than he had budgeted for the day.


“Boarding a tricycle from Alaba International in Ojo LGA to Volks Bus Stop used to be N100. Now, it is N200. And from Volkswagen to Alakija, we used to board motorcycles for N250, now it is N400 (for two passengers),” he said.


 “If I was the only one boarding the motorcycle, I would pay N800. Some bike men even said their fee is N500 per passenger. The situation is really serious.”


A commuter, who identified as Tolu Aniyikaye, said the transportation cost on her route (Maya to Ikorodu Garage) rose from N300 to N500.


She said there was heavy gridlock at some points during the journey due to queues at petrol stations.


“There were also fewer available buses,” Aniyikaye added.


The cost of commuting from Berger to Ojota rose from N300 to N400, another resident said.


Speaking on the hike in transport fare, a motorist who plies the Satellite Town axis, said the situation compelled drivers to raise prices.


“For instance, I bought petrol for N500 per litre today. How much will I now carry my passengers? The price has to increase,” he said.


Meanwhile, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) had urged oil marketers to keep their retail outlets open to customers.


In a statement on Tuesday, the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Media Centre said the president’s statement that petrol subsidy had stopped was not a new development, noting that the rush to buy the commodity “is needless”.

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