Hike in Petrol Price: We’re not living, but merely surviving, Nigerians cry out

Nigerians have continued reeling under the effect of the recent hike in the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which has spread poverty and hardship to its nooks and crannies, with residents of Lagos State calling on the Federal Government to urgently implement adequate palliative measures to alleviate the present high cost of living they are experiencing.


Reports in New Express, quoting the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), records the lamentations of citizens arising from the situation which has worsened since President Bola Tinubu, announced in his inauguration speech on May 29, the complete removal of subsidy on the product which saw the cost jumping from N195 per litre to N537 in a matter of hours.


Regardless of the sudden ripple effects including hike in transport fares and the prices of essential goods and services, which skyrocketed throughout the country, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company, Ltd. (NNPL), last penultimate Wednesday, announced a further increase of prices from N500 per litre to N617 per litre at its own petrol stations.


Bemoaning the situation, residents said the situation had led to rising cost of transport, essential commodities, and steep increase in utility bills, noting that it had left many struggling to make ends meet and the only way to survive was quick intervention by government.


Makinde Akinlemibola, Chairman, Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners (ANPMP), who lamented the situation said that medical professionals are feeling the weight of the high cost of living, having no choice but to increase their consultation fee, adding that the hike had affected the cost of running the hospitals, from fueling the generators to huge electricity bills.


Stating that the situation had made it difficult for private facilities to increase the salaries of their workers, he however, urged employers to consider an increment to help them cope with the hike in transport fares and other commodities.


“The only way forward is to increase our consultation fees to meet up with the cost of running the hospital. It is from the consultation fee that we get the salary for staff and run the facilities. We cannot afford to alternate days like some government offices because we are essential workers and we don’t know when emergencies will occur,” he said.


Solomon Odewale, a young man who embarked on an entrepreneurial journey two years ago, said he now had to take up an additional job, adding: “I started as an entrepreneur two years ago but right now, I can’t meet up with the cost of running my business and my personal needs.


“I had to take up an administrative job for someone else, alongside running my own business and it’s challenging. Balancing both responsibilities is tearing me apart, making it difficult for me to focus on my own business,” he said.


Stressing how he made cutbacks in various aspects, he said: “For instance, I now limit the usage of my generator to pump water as I can’t afford to run it for extended periods.


“This situation is negatively impacting entrepreneurs in general. The cost of production for what used to be N1,000 has skyrocketed to over N5,000, leading to a much lower profit margin.”


Stanley Samuel, a civil engineer, who said he had to devise strategies to reduce various expenses, explained how he decided to cut back on driving his car to work every day and opted for public transport instead, stating: “As a responsible family man, I prioritise planning and focus on fulfilling the essential needs of my family while disregarding unnecessary wants.”


Nwanne Happiness, who recently secured a job with a salary, said she began producing and supplying chin-chin and egg rolls to supermarkets, adding: “Going to work used to cost me N200 Naira to and fro but now it is N600.


“Recently, I tried renting a room self-contained, I was shocked when they said it was N400,000. This used to cost about N80,000 to N100,000. So, this high cost of living is affecting me in all areas.”


Tochukkwu Samuel, on his part, said he now had to buy things in bulk from the market which had helped him save more, adding: “I have also cut unnecessary outings and going to beer parlour. I only buy what I need now; there is no room for waste anymore.”


According to the latest Consumer Price Index report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s inflation rate increased to 22.79 per cent, surpassing the previous figure of 22.41 percent recorded in May.


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