Fuel Price Hike: Commercial Drivers Lament Low Patronage 

Commercial drivers operating within Uyo metropolis have lamented low patronage by passengers by passengers which they attributed to the economic hardship in the country.

They also lamented that the recent increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popular called petrol by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has worsened their challenge.

A mini-bus commercial driver who spoke to Vanguard yesterday in Uyo lamented that the profit he makes from the transport business dropped immediately the Federal government announced the removal of fuel Subsidy and subsequent increase of pump price of the product to 550 Naira in the state.

The transporter who simply identified himself as Mr Etimbuk lamented: “Business has not been moving fine at all since this new President, Bola Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy on the first day he assumed office.

“When we started buying petrol for N550, 00, we only increased Transport fare a little and passengers were finding it to pay. For instance places we used to collect 100 Naira we increased to N150,00 or N200 depending on the distance, but passengers will still want to pay the old fare.

“That is why thsse days you will hardly see a mini-bus that is full on the road. It is not that we do not understand the plight of the passengers, but because sometimes if you buy 5000,00 Naira worth of fuel it will not take you for more than one or two hours.

” So business has been bad for us since they increased fuel price. Sometimes you will only carry five passengers from Ikot Ekpene Road to Oron Road. Sometimes it will be three because people are not willing to pay even as the increase in the fare is not that much’

Also another commercial driver who did not want his name mentioned lamented that he has not been on the Road since past two weeks.

When asked why he lamented: “How can I spending so much at the end of the day you cannot even realize the amount you used in fuelling your vehicle.

” It is so sad. Sometimes you can buy fuel worth 7000,00, or 10 Naira, and you will not be able to recover that on the Road for that day because passengers are not willing to pay the current fare. It has not been easy.

“They said removal of Subsidy will improve our economy, within few months time. I am praying that it happens because people are suffering so much in this country. Now that one litre of fuel is now being sold N700,00, N750,00 in Akwa Ibom if we increase transport fare again people will not be able to pay”

It has also been observed that many residents of Uyo, especially civil/public servants have resorted to using commercial vehicles to work since petrol pump price increased to N550,00.

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