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A gas pump is seen hanging from the ceiling at a petrol station in Seoul June 27, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak/File Photo

Fuel price hike: Lagos workers adopt shift operations

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Sunday, July 23rd, 2023
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FOLLOWING the increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, known as petrol, from N488 to between N568 and N617 per litre, civil servants in Lagos State have resorted to shift operations to cushion the effect of the increment.

Consequently, most private vehicle owners in Lagos have decided to board public transportation to their offices and various destinations.

The development has reduced the chaotic gridlock in Lagos State, as most of the highways are witnessing free flow of traffic across the state.

Most of the areas visited include Egbeda, Iyana-Ipaja, Dopemu, Ikeja, Oshodi axes, Ikotun, Isolo axis, Agege, Yaba, Ikorodu Road, CMS, Ikoyi, among others.

Residents resort to trekking

Also, many residents have been left with no choice but to resort to trekking as means of transportation due to hike in fares, with many unable to afford the exorbitant fares.

The metropolis, which is gradually becoming a ghost town, has continued to witness commuters trekking to their various destinations daily.

The inability to cope with the rising transport fares has forced people from different walks of life to embark on the long walks despite scorching sun.

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Commercial buses and taxis have recorded considerable drop in patronage by passengers as more commuters have taken to alternative commercial transportation like Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, and trekking, particularly, short distance journey.

Civil servants in the state are not left out in the hardship as most of them have embarked on shift operation to reduce the financial impact.

As residents of Lagos continue to adapt to the new reality of trekking long distances, many are yearning for a relief package in the much expected “palliative” as promised by the Federal Government to address, cushion the fuel price crisis and restore affordable transportation options for all citizens.

Workers, residents lament

Some of the workers and residents, who spoke to Vanguard in confidence, narrated how they have been coping with economic situation in the country.

Commercial bus drivers have hiked the transport fares as high as 300 per cent. A journey that earlier cost N200, is now N600, while a journey of N100 is between N250 and N300 across Lagos metropolis.

A journey from Ikotun to CMS, which used to be N1000, has gone up as high as N3,000.

A worker, simply identified as Idowu, who resides in Alimosho area of the state, lamented how he has dropped his car at home and dumped commercial buses to join the Lagos State staff bus to avoid the high cost of fuel on his meagre salary.

Idowu said: “The hike in petrol has forced me to drop my car at home, I now join the staff bus home and to the office because I cannot afford the daily cost of fuel.”  

Also Mrs Adeola, who lives in Ifako-Ijaiye area, told Vanguard that most of the ministries have adopted a one day on and one day off for workers to limit the number of days at work due to the situation in the country.

Adeola said: “Since the fuel subsidy and the latest fuel hike, we have resorted to a kind of shift service of one day on, one day off among staff. That is what most of the staff are doing now. This is to relieve staff of financial stress occasion by the fuel hike.”

Shift basis

Meanwhile, a check by our correspondent revealed that most workers operate on shift basis presently as few workers were seen in most of the offices visited.

A senior official, who spoke under anonymity, said: “Anyway, everyone is still regular at their respective offices. It is just that many were thankful for the provision of staff buses that convey them to and fro. That’s the only support at this tough time for now.”

A resident, Ayo Elemide insisted that the new subsidy regime, which enjoyed the endorsement of the APC-led administration, was worsening an already dire economic situation.

According to Elemide, “The increase is worsening the already suffocating economic situation on Nigerians and could crumble the country if not quickly addressed.”

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