Commercial drivers, car owners say economic downturn impedes car maintenance

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Commercial drivers and private car owners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) say economic downturn is the major cause of lack of car maintenance, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Some drivers on Monday told NAN in separate interviews that the increased cost of living in the country had affected the frequency in which they maintained their vehicles.

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According to them, maintaining a vehicle has become a big challenge due to the non-availability of funds and increased cost of spare parts in the market.

A car owner, Abimbola Goke said “things are not so easy these days, especially for some of us civil servants that have limited income.’’

“Our income has remained the same, yet the cost of items in the market has tripled.

“Some families that have several cars have either sold or permanently parked their cars except for a utility car that is being shared by everyone.

“Although it hasn’t been easy, I try to ensure my car is maintained because it’s the only car the whole family uses and we cannot afford it to break down.

“Changing of car oil for instance, which is one of the commonest things to do is no longer common due to the increased cost of the oil.

“We earnestly pray something is done soonest to ease the plight of Nigerians,” Goke added.

Another motorist, Mr. James Ali, said most car spare parts were not manufactured in the country and the cost of importing into the country “is very high’’.

“Back in the days, the presence of companies like Dunlop and Michelin in the country made some car parts such as tires affordable but today they are no more here.

“These companies just like many others were chased out due to unfavorable business conditions.

“So, the way forward is for government to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive to make products more affordable for ordinary Nigerians,’’ Ali said.

A taxi driver, Adamu Dahiru, also stressed that with sufficient funds, he would properly maintain his vehicle, adding that he would have preferred a new taxi but for financial constraints.

”Everybody likes good things and no one likes to suffer but when you cannot afford what you want, you learn to make do with what you have.

“For me, I do not have a specific day I do service of on my vehicle. I go to the mechanic only when I have issues with the car and have the money to fix the car,” Dahiru said.

Mr. Haruna Musa, a Bolt driver said maintenance of vehicle depended on the mindset of the driver.

“I am a family man and the safety of my family is important to me more than anything in the world.

“So, whether I am driving my own car or someone else’s, I always ensure the car is in order to avoid stories.

“Car maintenance is also very important in my line of business so I try not to compromise on that. I visit my mechanic every Monday for a car check.

“Although, in order to make more money through some bonuses, I am presently in a competition where the number of rides and the hours spent on the job in a day count.

“These competitions sometimes do not allow me to pay attention to my car for any strange sound/fault which the car may develop, all because I want to meet my target.

“Other than that, I am religious with the maintenance of my car as it is my only source of livelihood in these trying times in the country.”

 

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