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Fuel subsidy: Public events now record poor turnouts

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Tuesday, August 1st, 2023
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The pomp and pride which usually herald public events in the country have given way to austerity measures.
The cost of moving around is high as the removal of fuel subsidy skyrocketed pump price of fuel and, in turn, shot fares through the roof.

The worst hit is events hosted outside, where the bulk of attendees come from long distances.

Economy & Lifestyle discovered that many now send money to support the hosts of events, especially those held outside invitees’ states, While those without money just stay put at home sending their good wishes as support.

Mr. Makinde Oluseyi, a meat seller, said he cancelled his trip to a wedding ceremony in Ibadan, last weekend, due to a 100 per cent increase in transport fare from N1500 to N3,000.

“I had to cancel my trip to a wedding ceremony in Ibadan, last weekend, because of a 100 per cent increase in transport fares.

“Before, a trip from Lagos to Ibadan attracts between N700 to N800. Last year, when there was a scarcity of fuel, the fare rose to between N1,000 and N1,500 during weekends. Now, it has risen to N3,000 per trip.

“I had to call my mother telling her to apologize to my niece on my behalf for my failure to attend the ceremony.
“After the wedding, I sent him a token of N5,000 as support.

“Those people that are having burial ceremonies are now limiting it to only close family members.

“We are now going back to the Covid-19 era where you have few persons in a gathering.”

Mrs Chiamaka Odogwu, a provision seller, confirmed the above-mentioned that she just concluded her late father’s burial ceremony in Anambra last week with a low turnout.

She added: “People didn’t turn out as expected at my late father’s burial ceremony in Anambra last week.
“Many called, complaining about the rise in transport fares due to a hike in the fuel pump price.

“Many of my friends in Lagos, Edo state and nearby states, who wanted to attend, were not present.

“I had anticipated having enough cash gifts but the situation of the economy did not help matters. The highest cash gift I had was N10,000. It was very terrible.

“Those present at the ceremony were villagers and close relatives. A large portion of the food we prepared got wasted due to the low turnout.”

On her part, Mrs. Betty Roland, a banker, said she has cancelled an upcoming burial ceremony in August and a wedding ceremony in October this year.

“I have an upcoming burial ceremony in August and a wedding ceremony in October this year. Both events are to be held in Abuja.

“When I called a friend of mine working at a bus terminal she told me the transport fare from Lagos to Abuja is N25, 000. I was shocked at first. Then I made an inquiry from other interstate transport companies and they were mentioning prices between the range of N22, 000 to N25,000.

“According to my friend, the cost of fuel used to travel from Lagos state to Abuja has tripled. Hence the need to increase transport fare. She also noted that most transport companies have released new price lists to meet their cost of travel expenditure and to also avoid misunderstanding between passengers and their accountants.

Mrs. Magdalene Braimoh, a trader, said her club who used to charter buses to their various events both interstate and within Lagos State now send delegates to these events to cut costs.

“In my club, we used to charter a bus to travel to any party within and outside Lagos.

“We believe humans are the cover clothes of one another hence our large attendance will put a smile on the host.
“Before, we do charter a 14 passenger bus to Edo State with N70,000 but three weeks ago we were charged N120,000 to and fro.

“We had to resort to sending delegates to these parties to cut costs.

“For parties within the State, I do drive but the cost of filling my car fuel tank has tripled so I parked it in my compound until further notice. I now board public transport to parties.

“Those I can’t attend, I send them money as my contribution to the party.

“Now, you have to cut your coat according to your size.”

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) report for June 2023, the average retail price paid by consumers for petrol rose year-on-year (YoY) by 210.31 per cent to N545.83 in June from N175.89 in June 2022.

On state profile analysis, Taraba state had the highest average retail price for the product with N562.86, followed by Yobe with N562.31 and Kano with N561.82.

Similarly, the average retail price of Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) paid by consumers rose YoY by 11.18 per cent to N815.83 per litre in June 2023 from N733.78 per litre in June 2022.

On state profile analysis, the highest average price of the product in June 2023 was recorded in Taraba with N899.23, followed by Adamawa with N875.67, and Niger with N873.33.

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