Fuel subsidy: Some FCT residents speak on positive gains

Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have expressed concern over the impact of fuel subsidy removal on their livelihoods.

The residents said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

Maryam Bako, a trader, decried the sharp increase in food prices since May 2023, which had strained her business and left many customers struggling to afford necessities.

According to Bako, the removal of subsidies increased the cost of everything, from the cost of production to transportation to the price of goods in the market.

She said, “ I have been pondering the positive impact of the removal of this fuel subsidy on Nigerians since 2023, when it was announced, and up to date, I do not know how it is helping us.”.

Similarly, Mr. David Agbo, a civil servant, said removing subsidies had translated into higher transportation costs, making the daily journey to work a financial burden.

Agbo said, in spite of the promises of positive changes, that he was yet to see tangible benefits that justified the removal of subsidies.

Another civil servant, Sarah Terhile, also decried the increased cost of living since the removal of the fuel subsidy.

“Honestly, since the announcement of the subsidy removal, I do not know how everything just skyrocketed. The prices of things kept increasing without consideration for the poor masses.

“We can barely feed our families, pay school fees, and even transport ourselves to work.

“Taxi drivers will always tell you that the price of fuel has gone up and they have no choice but to increase fares; otherwise, they will not be able to make ends meet.

“I was thinking that by now, the government will make buses available that will convey us to work for free or at a reduced cost, but I am yet to see that happen,’’ Terhile said.

More so, Aisha Sule, a healthcare worker, highlighted the impact of the subsidy removal on patients as drug prices continued to soar.

According to her, many patients cannot afford essential medications due to the high cost of drugs, thus leading to increased suffering and hardship.

“Sometimes when I get back home after a long day at work, I just want to break down and cry because of all I witnessed at my place of work.

“It is disheartening to see people suffering; they cannot afford their bills, and you can do little or anything to alleviate their suffering because you can barely even help yourself.

Another healthcare worker, Blessing Mbanefo, said the higher transportation costs have made it difficult to get to work.

Mbanefo, a nurse, said in spite of the long working hours to care for others, she faced increased financial strain due to the removal of the subsidy.

Aver Thomas, a parent, expressed concern over the rising school fees, which had been linked directly to the increase in fuel prices.

Thomas said, “The promise of cost savings from the subsidy removal has yet to materialise. We are almost tired of waiting to see that happen.

“I strongly think this removal of subsidies is the major cause of the inflation we are experiencing in the country presently. It has resulted in an increase in the price of goods and services.

“I am appealing to the government to come to our aid. You cannot imagine the pressure we parents face when a new term or session is about to begin because of school fees.

“We cannot wait for the nightmare to be over. Most families are struggling to survive. This is not what we bargained for when this administration came into power, I tell you.”

Meanwhile, Mr. John Michaels, a school teacher, said the removal of fuel subsidies was intended to benefit Nigeria’s economy.

Michaels said the reality of this government’s decision was increased financial hardship for citizens without any visible gains.

“As the government seeks to address these challenges, it must prioritise the needs of its citizens, ensuring that any cost savings are passed on to those who need them the most.”

Also speaking, a financial expert, Francis Adams, said the removal of fuel subsidies in Nigeria underscored the need for the government to re-establish its credibility and demonstrate its good intentions to Nigerians.

According to him, addressing the inflationary impact of petrol subsidy removal is paramount, as it directly affects the cost of living for ordinary Nigerians.

“As Nigeria navigates this transition period, policymakers must engage with the public transparently, offering clear explanations and viable solutions to mitigate subsidy removal’s immediate and long-term effects.

“Building consensus and trust among stakeholders will ensure that this policy change leads to a more sustainable and prosperous future for all Nigerians.(NAN)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
error: Content is protected !!