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Kano Residents Complain as Economic Woes Overshadow FG's Christmas Fare Slash

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The presidency’s 50 percent transport fare cut for yuletide travelers is getting mixed reactions from Nigerians as more concerns are rife about the economic flaws.

Amid the Christmas glee, lamentations abound on the price of commodities in the market with many Nigerians lamenting the harsh economy occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal.

Mama Ezinne has been selling foodstuff at Yankura Market for nearly two decades. Her mood suddenly changed when I enquired about her Christmas sales this year.

“Things are too expensive. Even when we the retailers sell, to rebuy, we must add money again,” She lamented.

“Customers don't buy like before because when they come to the market with their lists, before you know it their money will get exhausted.”

Another trader at the food market, Mama Tochukwu echoed Mama Ezinne's thoughts.

“No be say customers no dey come - dem dey come. If dem price something just now, when dem come back, di price don go up. So, e de make our market dull. By now we for don de sell,” she told me.

A Kano-based tailor, Agness, also shared the sentiment of the challenging times.

"I just bought this pair of slippers N700. Not less than a month ago, it was N500.

“I'm a seamstress, and the lining we used to buy for 250 naira is now 300 naira. Speaking about Christmas, we are just glad to experience the joy of the season."

  

Yankura Market

A survey conducted around Yankura Market indicates a sharp surge in commodity prices owing to the festive season.

Staple items like local rice have skyrocketed from N30,000 to N80,000 a bag.

The inflation affected other items, with groundnut oil rising from N35,000 to N40,000 per gallon.

Transporters Wail Despite Federal Government's 50% Price Cut

The transport sector was not spared. While some interstate transporters at Ungwar Ukwu Motto Park adhered to the government's 50 percent fare reduction, others hesitated.

The chairman of Ugwar Ukwu Lagos Line, Badamasi Umar, confirmed a 25 percent fare reduction for routes such as Kano-Lagos.

“If I am to reduce anything, it is going to be N4,000. So, if you were paying N22,000 to Lagos before the government’s announcement, you will now pay N18,000,” he told Nigeria Info.

Nigeria Info also observed that some drivers at the same park defied the directive, as passengers expressed different opinions about the government's fare reduction.

“Last week, I paid N22,500 but today they heard from the government and decided to reduce 25 percent out of 100 percent. I bought my ticket at the rate of N18,000,” shared a passenger headed to Lagos.

Umaru, a Port Harcourt-bound passenger at the same station remarked that the fare remained unchanged.

“Last week, they were charging between N20,000 to N22,000 for the trip to Port Harcourt,” he said.

“Previously, the fare from Kano to Port Harcourt was N18,000, but this morning they've increased it to N22,000.

“The driver complained about rising fuel prices and numerous checkpoints along the road.”

Hotoro Luxurious Park, Eastern By-pass

In contrast, fares stayed high at the Luxurious Bus Motor Park, Hotoro Eastern By-pass, Kano, ranging from N30,000 to N32,000 for eastern Nigerian state travels and N25,000 for western destinations.

The Task Force Chairman of the Association of Luxurious Bus Owners in Kano, Chidiebere Ukadike, cited the hike in diesel price and operational cost as reasons for their defiance.

“Gas price is still the same. We driving to Lagos use 550 liters of diesel. If you multiply 550 by N1,100, it is almost N560,000,” Ukadike lamented.

“We still have to buy tires, do maintenance, and all that. In the end, we cannot save up to 200 or N300,000 going for a trip.”

One of the passengers heading to Onitsha stated: “I checked not less than six parks, all the same price. The cost of diesel and fuel is too high!”

An Aba-bound passenger supported with: “We are paying N30,000 to Aba – we are two – that is N60,000.

“The government is supposed to reduce the price of fuel, kerosene, and gas.”

Security in Top Gear

In its preparation for the festive season, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) through its Sector Commander, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said it deployed 1,372 personnel, warning against overloading and overspeeding.

Similarly, the Kano State Police Command, in a statement, assured residents of security measures, just as it warns against actions capable of truncating peace in the state.

On his part, the Corps Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Kano, Muhammad Lawal Falala, announced the deployment of 2,576 armed personnel to provide adequate security.

FRSC Officials on the Road

The Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, extended his greetings to the people of Kano State, especially the Christian community, as they observed this year's Christmas.

In a statement by the Commissioner of Information, Baba Halilu Dantiye, Governor Yusuf encouraged Christians to reaffirm their commitment to serving humanity and aligning with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

He urged Christians to utilize this festive season for prayers, unity, peace, and the advancement of the state and the entire nation.


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