Transporters hike fare in Bayelsa over subsidy removal

Samuel Oyadongha

02 January 2012, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – The removal of petroleum subsidy by the Federal Government has resulted in sharp increase in transport fares in Bayelsa State.

Most visitors to the predominantly riverine state for the yuletide who were returning to their base were yesterday stunned by the over one hundred per cent increase in transportation fare at the various motor parks.

A trip from Yenagoa to Port Harcourt which costs between N500 and N700 per passenger depending on the type of vehicle now cost N1,400 and N1,800.

Motorcycle operators otherwise known as Okada riders are not left out in the fare hike as the least fare they now collect is N100 as against N40 before the New Year removal of fuel subsidy, which is expected to have ripple effect on all sectors of the state economy in the coming days.

While a litre of petrol is being sold at N138 at the NNPC mega station in Yenagoa, which pumps now read the new price other retail outs which pumps had long been compromised before now still carries the old price with the result that the attendants are forced to resort to the use of calculators to work out the amount paid by motorists.

The situation is expected to be complex in the hinterland where the natives before now were buying 20 litre of fuel between N3,000 and N4,000 due to absence floating filling stations in the riverine enclave.

Sadly, the existing NNPC floating stations are yet to dispense fuel to the locals since their establishment with the result that maritime transportation is an expensive venture since boats consumed more fuel.

Removal of fuel subsidy by FG is an act of dictatorship— ACN

Meanwhile, the National Youth Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Comrade Ebikibina Miriki yesterday described the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government as an act of dictatorship.

Miriki in an interview in Yenagoa said the Federal Government has once again displayed its insensitivity to the plight of the suffering masses at a time Nigerians are groaning under its harsh policies.

He said, “it is unacceptable, sad and deceptive for Mr. President to have claimed he is still consulting, only to make a u turn and give Nigerians a surprised new year package of hardship by removing the fuel subsidy”.

The removal of fuel subsidy by Mr. President he said should have been subjected to a referendum rather than the use of executive fiat.

“The removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government is the height of insensitivity on the part of Mr. President to the plight of the people at the critical moment when the country is yet to overcome the shock, multiple bomb blasts and the killing of innocent Christians on the Christmas day at Madalla,” he said.

Miriki said the removal is not only the confirmation of the insincerity, breach of confidence, but also the lack of Nigerian confidence on Mr. President Transformation agenda of the government.

He called on the federal government to resuscitate the four existing refineries in the country and make the product available to consumers and prosecute the identified cartels in the subsidy rackets.

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