3rd January, 2012
Commuters in Lagos this morning felt the consequence of the removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit, also known as petrol as they had to trek to the offices and places where they earn their living.
Today is supposed to be the first working day of the year, but it turned out the first day of a hellish year as one of those who spoke with P.M.NEWS put it.
P.M.NEWS learnt that since the removal of subsidy, the cost of transportation has skyrocketed. While some drivers doubled their fares, others simply tripled the cost.
Yet some of the commuters who claimed they had enough money for transportation to and from their offices said they could not find vehicles.
â€œYou can see the entire road is dry. The few commuter buses plying the roads have fixed fares that are beyond us.
â€œIn fact, the biggest regret I have ever had is to vote for President Jonathan. Some of my friends warned me then, but I was beclouded by sentiment,â€ Anthony Timi, a staff of a new generation bank in Lagos said.
P.M.NEWS learnt that fares from Iyana-Ipaja and Igando that was hitherto between N50 and N70 is now between N150 and N200.
The fare from Mowe to Ojota used to be N100 but stranded passengers had to cough out between N350 and N500 to make the trip. From Ikeja to Ojuelegba, which was N120 before now attracts N250. Oshodi to Mile 2 now attracts N200.
A staff of an eye centre in Victoria Island, who gave his name as Tony, said he could not go to work because there were no vehicles on the road.
â€œThe few ones carrying passengers from Iyana-Ipaja have put their fares at between N500 and N650. How can I afford that with my meagre salary?
â€œWhy is this government so insensitive to our plight? President Jonathan looks quiet physically, but I am sure he has the devil dwelling in him through Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,â€ he said.
He further said he had called the office and was told that more than half of the staff of the organisation did not turn up for work, adding that he got to the park only to turn back.
As at 10am today, workers were still seen trekking to their offices from their homes while various bus stops were croweded with stranded passengers.
Mr. John Ade, a 45-old father of five and construction worker, told P.M.NEWS that the only hope he has is the proposed action by the organised labour against the government.
â€œI am also begging the House of Representatives to be the true representatives of the people in this current situation.
â€œIs this how Jonathan wants to better our lives? Is this why we voted for him? He told us he had no shoes when he was young, now he wants us adults to go without shoes.
â€œI know that God will not agree. A few people will not keep everyone of us under them for ever,â€ he maintained.
The man, who said he was on his way to Egbeda and spoke discussed with P.M.NEWS at Isheri-Olofin, said he started trekking from Ikotun this morning after waiting endlessly for a bus.
Some motorists, who also spoke with P.M.NEWS, explained that those of them on the roads actually bought petrol from roadside hawkers or black marketers.
â€œThey are saying petrol stations should sell between N138 and N141, but I want you to go round Lagos and see that most of the stations do not have the product. The ones which have, sell at the black markets.
â€œHow do we then get the product to get to work? We are also affected by this increase in price.
â€œYou may think we are making money, but how many people are entering our vehicles? How many of our vehicles are on the road?
â€œA driver, who discovers that he would run at a loss after buying fuel, would quietly go and park the bus before the owner begins to think he is dubious,â€ Ajanaku Jimoh, who plies Ikotun to Isolo, told P.M.NEWS.