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Distressed Polytechnic Students Decry Fare Hike Over Fuel Scarcity in Osun

Students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, are grappling with exorbitant fares following the acute fuel scarcity in Nigeria. The students say they are plunged into an unexpected predicament, causing them distress amid tight preparation for examinations.

Commuters and townspeople in Iree, including the students, now face a shortage of commercial vehicles, with long queues at different bus stops. With limited options available, commercial drivers have taken advantage of the situation by hiking fares, burdening financially constrained students.

Expressing their frustrations, the students said the soaring costs of transportation have significantly strained their budgets. Many of them say they are forced to dig deeper into their pockets, allocating scarce resources that would have been used for other essential needs.

Campus Reporter spoke to several students who recounted how they were stranded for hours at different bus stops, missing crucial classes and study sessions due to the scarcity of commercial vehicles.

The students claimed that commercial drivers and motorcyclists are using the current situation to exploit them for their malicious gains. With transportation woes compounding their stress, students are calling for urgent intervention to alleviate the situation.

“The hike in transportation fares affects us because boarding a motorcycle from the estate to the main campus is now N400, instead of the regular N150. The government should help us do something about it. It’s getting unbearable,” one student of the polytechnic said.

A commercial motorcyclist in the town said commercial drivers are not to blame for the hike in the price of transportation as they also face serious challenges to fuel their vehicles.

“I had a conversation with another motorcyclist yesterday, and he mentioned that a full tank was delivered to Saoyad (a filling station in Iree town) two days ago. However, as of yesterday, they reported that they have run out of fuel,” he said.

Some students of the institution, however, suggested temporary measures. They believe having shuttle services on the campus would ease the burden on students during tough times like this. 

One student who would like to be anonymous in this report said: “There was a time in OSPOLY when the school had shuttle buses that picked students up at different bus stops to the main gate of the campus, which the price was lesser than that of the public transportation. I think if the school can bring that back, those motorcyclists will have no choice but to reduce their price too.”

The Students’ Union caretaker chairman, Olaniboji Emmanuel, said that fuel scarcity, which has caused fare hikes and put students in distress, is a general problem.

“One can imagine the transporter not getting fuel and eventually buying it at a high price after queuing at a fuel station for hours,” Emmanuel pondered. “The fare hike also affected me when I travelled to Ikirun in Osogbo to hear that the fare was N1000 instead of the usual  N500 and there is nothing the school management can do about it,  we can only look for a way which we the caretaker committee can do to mitigate the hardship.”

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