Commuters Lament 100% Rise in Transportation Fees as Fuel Shortage Increases

The fuel shortages being witnessed across most of Nigeria have continued to take their toll, causing a spiral effect as travelers lament rising transportation costs.

This follows reports of fuel shortages in Lagos, Kaduna and other cities across the country.

According to travelers who spoke to Nairametrics, transport fares to destinations have skyrocketed by more than 150% on various routes.

The struggle: In conversations with travelers in various locations, commuters lament the shortage of commercial vehicles and how the few available drivers are taking advantage of the situation, driving up prices exorbitantly.

Adeoye Bala is a trader on the island of Lagos and sells shoes. She told Nairametrics how she has struggled to get to her workplace every day since the recent fuel shortage resurfaced.

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  • “We are going through a lot due to the issue of fuel shortages. For example, yesterday (Thursday) I left for the store as early as 7:00 am just to get to the bus stop and I waited for hours because the vehicles were not available. The few vehicles available were rushed by many and we had to pay more than double the money we are supposed to pay.” she said.
  • Expressing his frustration, he said: “Even after paying N500 instead of N200 finally the bus didn’t reach our destination, we still had to walk after it crashed in the middle of the road.”

Ngozi John stays on the mainland but works at a hotel on the island. In recent days he had gone through the frustration of moving from one place to another, which almost cost him his job.

  • “I am supposed to resume work at 8:00 p.m., but in recent days I have not been able to meet with that due to a shortage of vehicles. All vehicles are not available at the bus stop. We usually fight tooth and nail to secure vehicles these days. Luckily, it’s something general and that’s why I’m still at work.

Drivers Perspective: While drivers seem to many to be opportunists, taking advantage of the situation to raise prices, they also have their stories to tell.

A commercial driver popularly known as SJ, who runs the Lekki – Epe route, told Nairametrics how getting fuel has become difficult in recent days.

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  • “It’s not our fault. We are raising prices, but you can’t expect us to buy fuel at an expensive price and still keep the same transportation rate. Gas stations are not sold and the available fuel we get is very expensive.”

Bayo Adeola also shared his sentiment. He pointed out that drivers are simply overlooking the high cost of fuel.

  • “Look at the queue that lines up at various gas stations. I had to pay N4,000 to buy ten liters this morning, which is more than double the normal price, and yet you expect the cost of transport not to increase.
  • “I know everyone is frustrated, but let’s all channel the frustration towards the people up there and not ourselves because we are all affected by the state of the economy.”

In case you missed it: In a recent interview on Channels Television, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Deputy National Chairman Zarama Mustapha outlined some reasons why some cities are experiencing fuel shortages.

He described the delay in unloading gasoline from the mother ship to the depots due to some challenges between the private depot owners and the NNPC, which is the main gasoline supplier. He also pointed to pricing issues, NNPC storage shortages, politics, and the Christmas period, among others.

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