June 10, 2024

Fuel price Increase: Barbers embrace rechargeable, solar hair clippers 

Fuel price Increase: Barbers embrace rechargeable, solar  hair clippers 

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The effect of the subsidy removal on fuel has adversely affected everything in Nigeria.

The worst hit are those whose businesses rely solely on electricity and fuel. The barbers are not left out as they have been at the receiving end of this increase in fuel price, high cost of rent, increase in electricity tariff, and epileptic power supply.

However, despite the hard blow from these new policies’ effect, barbers tend to always get a solution to ease their pain.

Today, barbers have embraced the use of rechargeable or solar-powered hair clippers to cut cost.

What is the reason for this adoption? Economy&Lifestyle discovered that barbers could no longer endure the continuous surge in the prices of fuel.

Apart from that, they complained about epileptic power supply and increased electricity tariffs.

‘Our problems began May 2023’

According to Mr. Andrew Olohunwa, a barber, “Barbers are in a pathetic situation today due to the various policies and decisions of the government that the negative effect is badly felt by the masses.

“Last year May was the beginning of our problem when subsidy was removed from fuel.

“There was nothing we didn’t do to survive. Many people I know had to close down their businesses.

“Those who couldn’t have to increase prices.

“Some converted their fuel-powered generator to that of gas. There was nothing we didn’t try. Now the fuel price has been increased a second time within the space of a year.

“People are struggling for food, and how to meet up with the increased electricity bills and epileptic power supply that is crippling businesses for a very long time.

“But you know that as people are suffering a problem, there are always people looking for how to find a solution.

“Now we have solar-powered and rechargeable hair clippers. That is what most barbers are using now. 

“It saves me the cost of buying fuel which won’t last up to three to four hours. 

“At the end of the day, you might hardly get the money for fuel not to talk of making a profit.”

Mr. Sunday Elegha, another barber expressed excitement about such innovation.

“I have been struggling to make ends meet with the increased fuel price and increased electricity tariff.

“This shop I pay nothing less than N5,000 per month for electricity bills. You will not even see the light, which they flash like a child playing with torchlight.

‘How customers adjust’

“In the case of fuel price, we were struggling to manage the old price then there was another increase which worsened our situation.

“Even customers were leaving their hair to grow well before coming for a haircut. Some resolved to be using blades or shaving sticks.

“This is because the haircut price was increased from N1,000 to N1,500. In some areas, people cut their hair for N5,000 to N10,000.

“But thank God, the rechargeable/solar-powered hair clipper came onboard and I never regretted embracing it because it has helped me a lot, especially in cutting down my expenses.

“But it never increased my patronage though. This is because most parents and adults now purchase it and cut their hair at home instead of patronizing babers.”

Mobile barbers

Economy&Lifestyle also discovered that apart from the barbers in the shops, those hawking have also adopted the use of rechargeable/solar-powered hair clippers.

Mr. Adamu Dauda, a hawking barber, said: “Before, I used a blade to render my services.

“It was a customer of mine who introduced the idea of using rechargeable/solar-powered hair clippers to perform my services.

“I learned it by visiting a barber shop and watched how he was using it. So I applied it, using my previous barbing skills which helped a lot.

“I am happy I took his advice.”

A visit to an electronic shop revealed that a rechargeable powered hair clipper costs N4,500 to N10,000 depending on the brand and wattz.

In its Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) price watch for April, the National Bureau of Statistics said that the average retail price paid by consumers for petrol for the month of April 2024 was N701.24.

This indicates a 176.02 percent increase when compared to the value recorded in April 2023 (N254.06). 

It added: “Likewise, comparing the average price value with the previous month (.i.e. March 2024), the average retail price increased by 0.64 percent from N696.79.”

In April, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, announced a hike in the electricity tariff for Band A customers, at a press briefing, in Abuja.

Those affected would pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh, representing a 240 percent increase. 

Vanguard News