Fear Grips Nigerians as Pump Price Goes Up Again


Nigerians are miffed that another marginal hike in the pump price of fuel has been surreptitiously effected without their input thus worsening their already harassed situation.  This is coming on the heels of recent increases in other vital sectors such as electricity, stamp duty charges, not to mention some frivolous deductions suffered by bank customers, including maintenance charges. A prime Federal Institution had also slapped a percentage to be paid as tax to landlords and tenants alike. “Where do we go from here,” asked a retailer at the Wuse market by the name Benson Idachaba. He was responding to questions concerning the sudden hike in pump price. “ It appears that we have been taken for a ride”, he began,” explaining that under a  democratic dispensation, there is supposed to be dialogue, at least a public hearing on how to go about resolving burning national issues; but here we are, a democratic government unilaterally preferring stiffer and obnoxious steps without much ado”.  He said if this sad trend continues, Nigerians may be plunged into distressed gear with mounting debts and hazardous risks. Already there are reported cases of vandals breaking into homes and other criminal activities. No one seems to know the true situation as there are conflicting statements on fuel subsidy payments which appears to have hit the trillion naira mark. “We need to know why they are increasing domestic charges at this rate”, stated Umar Adamu, public analysts based in Abuja. “Maybe it is to hasten repayment for the huge borrowings from China which no one has seen the effect”, he observed. Meanwhile, with the recent announcement of the impending departure of Shoprite from Nigeria, the business atmosphere is becoming tense; there had been other high profile departures such as ACER, a reputable computer giant, Honda, Samsung and Etisalat conglomerate. Though spirited efforts are on by the Central Bank to curtail the drift, the signals from the worsening security and upsurge in corruption woes are further threats to a possible comeback. Now there growing concerns that the leadership of the National Assembly appears to have sold out which is why they are silent?  Meanwhile, the Nigerian Labour Congress which is supposed to be the last vestige of hope for traumatised Nigerians has also gone to sleep leaving Nigerians to their fate. Now there is no one to save them from the APC dragnet. “They lied to Nigerians that they came for change, now look at what we are seeing….poverty, starvation and hunger”, said Shadrack Adebayo, a clerk at one of the offices in the Federal Secretariat.