By Noah Ajala
As Nigerians continue to grapple with the attendant effect of the removal of fuel subsidy and the cost of survival, residents of the Calabar metropolis have shared divergent views and difficulties as the days go by.
Sharing their experiences on how the fuel hike has affected them, some of the residents told CrossRiverWatch in separate interviews that the fuel hike has affected the daily runnings of their families, businesses, and other activities.
Residents who spoke with CrossRiverWatch include commercial drivers, traders, students, and others. Some of them complained that the fuel price increase has greatly impacted their selling capacity and the rate of turnover negatively.
A commercial driver, Mr. Bassey Okon said: “The increase in the price of fuel has also limited the number of vehicles that load per day from our park to Mbukpa and with the price increase in fuel, there must be a corresponding increase in the price of passenger per seat.
“The distance we were charging N100 before now must be increased to N200 in order to enable us to cover the price of fuel bought.”
Some market women on their part said sales in their shops have reduced drastically because the purchasing power has also reduced.
“The number of people who come to my shop per day has also declined because the buyers also find it difficult to get the money to purchase my goods. For example, the goods that were usually sold for N500 before now have now increased to N1500,” Mrs. Glorious who facially expressed sadness said.
A student of Theater and Media Studies at the University of Calabar, Glory Obi explained that students are also suffering from the brunt of the subsidy removal.
“The distance usually charged at N100 from house to school before now has increased to N250 because of fuel price, making it difficult for me to attend lectures,” lamenting she spends an average of N500 per day on transportation.
However, in all these, the residents are calling on the Government to look into the pains of Nigerians and also ensure that the price of fuel is reduced for Nigerians and Cross Riverians.
It could be recalled that during the inauguration held on May 29th, 2023 at Eagle Square Abuja, the incumbent President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said his government will remove fuel subsidy.
After his statement, the next day, many fuel stations were shut down which subsequently gave rise to increased fuel prices from the usual N175 to N300, N400, and currently N600 per liter in most fuel stations across the country.