Bicycles dealers make brisk businesses in Bauchi amidst subsidy removal
By Jennifer S. Kuwanta
Some bicycle dealers in Bauchi are making brisk businesses due to increasing patronage occasioned by the hikes in pump prices and transport fares.
A check by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the Bauchi metropolis showed that most of the workers, students and businessmen have resorted to cycling since the Federal Government ended the fuel subsidy regime in the country.
NAN checks at the Central Market Bauchi showed that the demand for new bicycles and repair of the old ones had increased by about 70 per cent as the number of cyclists kept surging.
Bicycle riding is becoming more popular among the residents in the area as it proved to be cost-effective, ease transportation difficulties and improve health conditions.
The trend provided opportunities for bicycle dealers and repairers to make more money from the trade.
Alhaji Mudi Jahun, a bicycle dealer, said that he was recording high sales due to increased patronage of bicycles in Bauchi and adjourning communities.
He said the trade in bicycles recorded a significant boom with hikes in petrol prices and transport fares.
“We noticed a business boom with an increase in the price of petrol.
“I sold about two bicycles daily as against before when I hardly sold one bicycle within a week.
“Bicycles for adults are the most preferred, unlike the ones for children.
“We thank God, we are making good sales of bicycles and its spare parts,” he said.
Jahun said that a bicycle for adults now sold between N25,000 and N30,000 as against its former price of N20,000.
Corroborating Jahun, Audu Gimba, a bicycle repairer, said that he was enjoying appreciable patronage in view of the increasing demand of his services.
He said that many people had brought their old bicycles for repair on daily basis.
“The number of bicycles has increased, even the old ones kept for years at home had been brought for repairs.
“Before the fuel subsidy removal, I spent the whole day without any customer coming for repairs.
“Now, many bicycle owners are coming, I’m overwhelmed with work,” he said
Also, Mr Saminu Musa, a worker, said that he resorted to use of bicycle as he could not afford exorbitant fuel prices.
He noted that most of the aumobile owners had jacked off their cars and resorted to either bicycles or public transportation.
“I repaired my bicycle and that of my children, my car is already parked, I can’t afford to buy fuel”.
A trader, Ali Habib, said that he opted to trekk from his home to the market daily.
“The tricycle and motorcycle riders increased their charges due to fuel price hikes.
“Things are hard nowadays, therefore, I prefer trekking to save cost,” he said.