Fuel Subsidy: Cost of Living Pushes Abuja Residents to Walls

Nigerians have been battling with economic realities since the Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government announced the removal of fuel subsidy on May 29.

Residents of Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) share their ordeal in a video interview with Daily Trust.

Sipren Shiaun, one of the residents, expressed his worries over the subsidy removal and the consequences it has caused to the citizens.

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Prior to the hike in the price of the petroleum product across the country, Shiaun said he filled his car’s fuel tank with N12,000. Now, he buys half a tank for N19,000.

He believes the situation wouldn’t have gone out of hand, if measures were taken earlier.

“If I were in the government’s shoes, I will provide timorous call to the citizens first, before implementing the subsidy removal because if they were temporary measures taken before the removal of subsidy, the citizens wouldn’t have been crying too much like this and now the government said it has accumulated about N1 billion and they did not tell us what they want to use the money for,” he said.

A female resident, who usually uses public transport to her working place said she spent N1,000 on daily transportation before fuel-price-induced hardship.

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NNPC Mega Filling Station

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She added: “Well it has not been easy. I don’t know but, we are Nigerians sometimes we get used to things but then, this is getting out of hand,” she said. “Before now, I spent roughly N1,000 to get to work but now I am spending N1,800 and if I calculate it by the end of the day, that’s like my salary. So it is just like I am not working or making a contribution for myself. So it has not been really easy.

“Even in the market, things are very expensive and my worry is that things keep getting high and the source of income is still the same, is not increasing and I don’t know what you expect Nigerians to do.

“I heard cases of arm robbery and other things increasing and it is very unfortunate to say that, I will not blame them because where do you want them to get food from? How do you want them to survive? So I don’t know, is it getting out of hand” she explained in displeasure.”

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She said the government should have considered the country’s situation at the time and given additional time before implementing the removal of the fuel subsidy. 

“I feel like removing subsidy immediately you enter power, is not the right thing to do, maybe he would have given us some time,” he opined. “Subsidy removal is good, but then he would have given us some time, he would have looked for a way to make things better before removing the subsidy, maybe increase the minimum wage, provide a source of transportation like El- Rufai Bus.”


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