MANY residents of Minna, the Niger State capital, have taken to the streets and major roads in the state to protest against the rising cost of living.
On Monday, February 5, the protesters blocked major roads, including the Kpakungu roundabout at Minna-Bida road, stopping activities of many commercial vehicles in the area.
According to a video by Channels Television, the protesters, including women and teenagers, chanted protest songs and called on the government’s intervention in the soaring cost of food and other products.
The protesters also complained about the fuel price hike and its continuous economic impacts, emphasising the need for the government to take action.
While addressing the protesters, the deputy governor of Niger state, Yakubu Garba, stated that the government was aware of the hardships many Nigerians were going through.
He also noted that the government was working to alleviate the hardships by reducing the cost of living.
While assuming office on May 29, 2023, President Bola Tinubu announced his administration’s removal of fuel subsidy.
The announcement immediately led to fuel queues as many retailers shut their filling stations, hoarding their stock and creating scarcity with a view to hiking fares later.
Two days later, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd) officially increased the pump price of petrol by about 200 per cent.
The NNPCL, in a template sent to marketers, confirmed the astronomical rise in the pump price of the product, with the minimum being the N488 per litre obtainable in Lagos, while it would be as high as N557 per litre in Maiduguri.
The fuel pump price has since increased, leading to an astronomical rise in the cost of transportation on the different routes as commercial cab drivers transfer the additional cost of petrol on passengers.
Although one of the ways to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government was the disbursement of N5 billion in financial support to each state, many Nigerians have not felt the impact.