Many residents of Lagos were left stranded on Friday 08 July 2022 at many bus stops, as fuel scarcity continues to bite harder.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that fuel scarcity has now lingered for a week, leaving commuters struggling to board the few available vehicles and thereby negatively impacting economic and social life. The situation is most distressing as activities for the 2022 Eid-el-Kabir celebration are at their peak.
For instance, the long stretch of Iyana Oworo down to Lagos/Ibadan expressway and inner roads were partially blocked due to the few filling stations dispensing fuel to the long queues of motorists.
There is also the issue of hike in transport fares for both intra-state and inter-state commuting due to the fuel scarcity and the numbers of people going to different destinations for the Sallah holidays.
The fare from Iyana Oworo to Berger which was formerly between N200 and N300 was increased to N500, while from 7up bus stop to Mowe, formerly N300, was increased to between N600 and N700.
Inter-state commuting was not exempted as transport fare from Lagos to neighbouring towns like Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode, which was formerly between N1,500 to N2,000, from Berger had been increased to N4,000 among others.
Hafiz Taofeek said the fuel and transport situation is having a toll on preparations for the Sallah celebrations, especially in terms of purchasing food items and movement from one location to the other. He appealed to government to look into the situation and find solutions.
A veterinary doctor, Mr Olakunle, told NAN about his unpleasant experience commuting from Lagos to a neighbouring Ogun Community, Asese. “My experience commuting today had been terrible. I was to keep an appointment outside Lagos around Asese in Ogun State, and after spending 3 hours in the traffic, I had to turn back.
“I had to call my client to inform him of my decision to turn back because I won’t be able to make it down. On my way back to Lagos, I spent another 2 hours in the traffic, now I am on my way to Akure for an engagement. We need intervention of government so that Muslim faithful can enjoy the Sallah holidays,” he said.
Another commuter, Funmi Adegbola, said almost all inner and access roads in Lagos were not immune to the traffic snarl being experienced on major roads. “I had a terrible experiences today; I left home around 1.30 p.m. On getting to Anthony Village, there was a downpour which caused traffic snarl due to flash floods.
“It took about 3 hours to get to Otedola bridge from Anthony Village. Aside the traffic, bus fares were increased astronomically and I think this is not fair on us. This hardship is getting to us because almost every essential item is on the high side, things are very expensive now,” she said.
Femi Adeoya told NAN that Lagos had been hectic in recent days adding that the situation needs government attention. “Government needs to bring sanity in Lagos because things are not working as they should; the transport system in Lagos has been a mono system.
“Lagos is supposed to be a Mega City as claimed, but it is turning to something else, now Lagos has been ranked as the 2nd-worst city to live in the world. Government should review the mass transit bus arrangements which is almost collapsing; today many commuters were stranded at bus stops.
“In developed countries, their governments ensure they take charge of city transportation, but Nigeria has yet to look in such direction,” he said.
Tunde Babalola told NAN it was difficult for him to get a bus from Ikotun to Cele Bustop, and when a bus came, it was a struggle to get into it. According to him, when he got to Cele, transiting from there to Oshodi was another hurdle and it took 2 hours of standing at the bus stop before he could get a bus to his destination.
Sarah Ejiogu, a civil servant, said she had to get into 4 different buses before getting to Iganmu, her place of work. “Ordinarily, I get a straight bus from Ikeja to Costain but today, I had to keep breaking my journey because buses were not available and I must be at work.
“I took a bus from Ogba where I reside to Ikeja, another to Maryland, then to Ojuelegba and got another to Costain. Drivers complained of non-availability of fuel and long queuing time at filling stations. It is becoming unbearable.