Some operators of small scale businesses within the Lagos metropolis say their operations have been hampered by the persisting petrol scarcity and epileptic electricity supply. The businessmen and women were those around Egbeda in Alimosho Local Government Area. Many of them are iced block sellers, barbers, hairdressers, Cybercafé and cold room operators.
They expressed disappointment, saying that the situation had made them to experience low patronage from clients as their charges had increased owing to high cost of petrol. The situation, they told newsmen on Monday, had also led to a dwindling of their income. A barber, Mr Salisu Yusuf, said that he could only serve few of his clients, adding that he spent about three hours on queue on Sunday before he got 10 liters of petrol.
He said that the quantity of the product he had was not enough to provide service to the number of customers that usually patronised him at weekends. “It’s so sad that I’m unable to provide service to my clients due to the ongoing fuel scarcity. I have equally increased my fees as fuel price has also gone up. “Before now I charge N300 for an adult, N200 for children’s but now it is N500 per adult, while a child pays N300,’ Yusuf said.
A Cold Room operator, Mrs Cecilia Onwenu, told pressmen that she was disappointed with the difficulty in getting petrol, while electricity supply as well was poor. Onwenu said that almost all her stock got defrosted, noting that her customers could not buy the frozen poultry and fishes because of the condition. “I’m now running at a loss because I have been unable to get fuel to refrigerate the turkey, chicken, fishes in my cold room.
“Epileptic power supply has also been a challenge; we are only supplied electricity for an hour a day. I pray that my stock does not decay. “This is very sad and disheartening because my customers have never complained about my products until this season of fuel scarcity,’’’ Onwenu said. For Miss Angela Williams, a hairdresser, the power outages and petrol scarcity had led to loss of business. Williams urged the responsible authorities to ensure that the fuel scarcity was check and save the people the agony of searching for petrol.
“Most of my customers who came to make their hair in preparation for the new week’s work were disappointed because I was unable to get fuel to power my electricity generator. “This is affecting virtually everybody and I appreciate my customers for their understanding,’’ she said. Also residents living along Lagos/Ibadan expressway, popularly called, “Second Lagos’’, expressed displeasure over the persistent fuel scarcity.
Mr Elusogbon Adedeji, a resident of Magboro, lamented the cost of transportation, saying that from Magboro to Berger was N50 but that it had increased to N150. “As a driver, I earn a meagre sum at the end of the month, I have finished spending my April salary on transportation and I will now have to borrow to sustain myself through the month.
“We use petrol to power generator, grinding machines, welders and even to pump water. There is no home that does not use petrol for one thing or the other. “Last night when I was coming home, some commuters spent N400 on a trip of just N100 from Ketu to Ibafo, this is bad under the present economic condition in Nigeria,’’ Adedeji said.