Motorists, students, traders, market men and women in several communities in Yaba and Lagos as a whole, have been hit by a two-fold blow of fuel scarcity and electricity outage, leaving a lot of people struggling to keep up with their daily activities and businesses.
For some weeks now, the country has faced fuel shortage caused by the importation of low standard petrol into the country. Many fuel stations have run out of fuel as the government tries to retrieve the dirty fuel and distribute cleaner volumes.
In some filling stations, PMS is sold as high as N250 or more per litre as motorists and pedestrians alike spend hours there trying to buy the product for their cars and generators.
With Nigeria’s perpetually poor electricity supply, millions of residents rely on generators for power. Prolonged fuel shortage means people are not only unable to power their cars but also their generators.
Amidst the continuing scarcity, several residents, especially in the students’ districts in Yaba reported electricity outages.
“I don’t even bother going to join the unending queue to get fuel anymore. I rely on the university power supply to get things done on my laptop”, said Kunle, a student of the University of Lagos.
“The erratic power supply has really become unbearable since the fuel scarcity begun. It’s like a double setback for students, you know. Now one has to keep awake at night in the campus to get assignments done. It is really bad.”, another said.
Mrs. Mojiola Adekiyesi, a hair stylist, who resides at Iwaya, said the power outage has snuffed life out of her business.
According to her, since cannot afford to power her generating set all-day long due to scarcity and resultant hike in price, some of her customers are looking for alternative outfits to do business with.
“Apart from hairdressing, I sell drinks too, and customers prefer cold drinks. So, when the drinks are not cold, people just go for alternatives. So, if there is anything that can be done to restore public power supply in this area, I will be really glad.”
For Miss Emmanuella Okoye, the continuous power outage has forced residents to take steps in order not to be “left in the dark.”
“For instance, we all go about with our mobile phones and chargers at night looking for where to charge these devices for a fee. Every now and then, I spend N50 to charge my mobile phone and torchlight. The most annoying thing is the fact that they still bring electricity bills for us to pay.
On his part, Mr. Uche Nwabodo, said “We don’t see light at all, and it affects what I do. When you talk of light in this area, it is nothing to write home about.”
Mr. Chibueze Okeke, sells frozen chicken and fish. Okeke said he does not rely on the disco for supply of electricity. “I run my generator from morning till night, reason I had to up the prices of some of my goods.”
In the same vein, residents expressed discomfort and high cost of foodstuffs to YabaCity at the Sabo food market.
One Mrs. Olajumoke Stella called on the federal government to urgently address the situation before things get out of hand.
“Things are expensive. The cost of transporting these food items to Lagos have doubled in price. We can’t even host a full family anymore. Where is the money?” She said.
Some of the major foodstuffs affected by the price hike include rice, beans, tomato, pepper, palm oil, fish.