Some Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, SMEs, and low-income earners in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have decried the lingering fuel scarcity bedeviling the nation, saying that it might force them out of the business.
The owners of SMEs, such as barber shops and hairdressing salons, said they might shriek if the federal government does not addressed the lingering scarcity in the country.
Some of the traders, who spoke to Nigerian Pilot yesterday in Abuja, noted that since the current fuel scarcity began some weeks ago, their income has nosedived, and businesses have not been thriving.
According to the managing director, Jamat Business Centre, Mr. Johnson Akin, he now buy fuel for N250 a litre and “I need N1,000 to buy four litres of petrol to power my generator set for business”.
He said, “I spent just N1,500 to buy the same four litres before this scarcity. I used to charge N1to inflate one tyre but now, I have increased the fee to N200 to make ends meet”.
“But they now find it difficult to accept the new prices I introduced. Honestly speaking, it is not my fault, I just have to make ends meet because I also have a family to feed at home,’’ he says.
A food seller in some schools, Mrs. Halima Musa also shared similar sentiments, saying that “it has not been easy for her since the current fuel scarcity began, transportation has increased and even food stuff. According to her, “Each time I go to the market, the prices of the ingredients and condiments I use for preparing food keep on rising. Worse still, I now pay more for transport to go round schools to sell my food.
She added that, “I used to sell a plate of food for N200, but I have to increase it to N250 some teachers and students no longer buy it. I was forced to add some money to enable me to continue to be in business but some of my customers have not come to terms with the reality,” she says.
Musa said, she will try her best to remain in business, in spite of the rising costs of doing so due to the protracted fuel scarcity.
“With this little business, I feed my family and we manage to make ends meet. It has been quite tough for me but I will not lose hope; I will continue to work hard,” she says.
The traders appealed to the Federal Government to urgently look into practical ways of resolving the fuel crisis on time.
Noting that, the effect of the fuel scarcity has been harsh on my business. I can no longer continue with the business because the lingering fuel scarcity in nation.
“Our customers have been complaining of the increase in the price of the goods but I cannot be in a business that will not yield profit to my family”.
“ I pray that the fuel problem will be quickly resolved, so that I can resume work and be able to feed my family,” he said.
“I have no alternative than to face the reality on the ground if I have to survive. Things have been quite tough but I have decided to trek at times to survive,’’ he says.
Some of them believe the current fuel scarcity has particularly affected small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs, and low-income earners.
“The situation is more critical because there is epileptic power supply in all the neighborhoods; the option left for SMEs is to use generators if they must remain in business. Now, they are creaking under the yoke of fuel scarcity,” he said, and appealed to the people not to lose hope in the ability of government to end the scarcity soon.
“I am sure that government is aware of the harsh effects of the current scarcity on low-income earners and operators of small businesses,” he added.

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