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Abuja Traders Lament, Say High Fares Killing Businesses

 Abuja traders

Many traders in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have cried out in frustration.

They expressed their frustration with the increase in transportation fares due to the rise in petrol pump prices. They shared their disappointment in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria correspondent in Abuja.

The PUNCH reports that following President Bola Tinubu’s statement that “fuel subsidy is gone” in his inaugural speech, long queues have reappeared at petrol stations in major cities, particularly in Abuja. A corn seller, Agatha Emmanuel, expressed how she is unable to get fresh corn from farmers due to the increase in transportation fares.

“We buy daily from the farmers, but since Tuesday, I have not been able to go to the farm because from Dutse Alhaji to Bwari, where I buy the corn from, it is now N400.

“How much do I make in a day to spend that amount just for transportation? I make a little profit from the boiled corn I sell.

”I can’t make it,” she said.

Another trader at the Area 1 Shopping Centre in Garki, who lives in Kuje, FCT, Mrs. Edna Oke, said that the transportation fare from Kuje to Area 1 has increased from N400 to N1,500.

”By the time they see my sack of plantains, the car owner will charge me between N2,000 and N3,000. How much will I add on the plantains I am selling?

”Will people buy it? I am begging the government to do something about this. “Maybe they should bring buses that will carry passengers at reduced rates,” she said.

Also, a food vendor at the Charlie Boy Junction in Gwarimpa, Mrs. Eunice Okafor, mentioned that she had to raise the price of her food due to the increase in transportation costs. The cost of foodstuffs in the market has also risen, and she has had to spend more on getting ingredients for the food she cooks.

”It has not been easy. Our customers are also complaining. In fact, some of them have stopped patronising us.

”There is no food for N500 now. I can’t blame them because people don’t have enough money to move around, not to mention buy food.

A solar panel distributor, Mr Idowu Arogundade, stated that his business is focused on delivering products to customers.

”The Federal #Government might have good intentions for the removal of petrol subsidy but it is too sudden and not the right time for my business.

“I have so many solar panel orders which have to be delivered to clients. Some clients have also paid me upfront.

”Do I go back and tell them to add extra money for transportation? The orders are in different districts of Abuja.

‘We pay truck drivers to transport these panels. Now we will have to pay them money because of the fuel price hike, which is hilarious,” he said.

A commercial vehicle driver at the Wuse Market Motor Park, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that the rise in transportation fares is not the fault of transport operators. He noted that motorists in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa state buy petrol for between N500 and N700 per litre.

”You should check it yourself now. Cost of transportation has to go up too. I want to call for a meeting of the FCT transport regulation organisations with transport union leaders in order to have common fares,

”This way, people will not suffer too much,” he said.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has adjusted the pump price of petrol by almost 200 to between N488 and N557 nationwide. The price of petrol has increased from between N189 and N194 to N537 per litre in Abuja and other North-Central states.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mele Kyari, has stated that the competition among major players in the oil sector will help to bring down the price of petrol, which has been causing concern across the country.

Kyari mentioned that the removal of subsidy would allow new entrants into the market, which would help to phase out monopoly and encourage healthy competition. He believes that this would lead to a downward review of pump prices for petroleum across the country.

He said, “The beauty of this (subsidy removal) is that there will be new entrants (into the market) because oil marketing companies’ reluctance to come into the market all along is the very fact of the subsidy regime that is in place.

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