With the economic recession, most car owners in Abuja now operate as cabbies to make ends meet.
Pulse checks reveal that workers at the popular Federal Secretariat, home to major government offices are not left out of this trend.
Conveying workers from Nyanya, Mararaba, Dutse, and Suleja in Niger state for a fee, most car owners have blamed the development on the economic recession and high cost of goods.
"The way this country is going, I have found out that driving my empty car from home to work is not helping matters," said Akin Olanrewaju, a civil servant.
"I must fuel the car and take it for maintenance. I need money to do all these and how much is my salary? It is not even enough to take care of my family, worst still, the federal government is not talking about increasing it by a single kobo with this recession that they are shouting here and there," he added.
Another civil servant who craved anonymity, however, blamed the situation on the increase in the price of petrol. According to him, the ban on painted cabs from gaining access to hotels and other strategic locations has also encouraged more private car owners to become cab drivers.
"Before now, only painted taxis were allowed to enter hotels, estates and government offices. But now, they don't allow painted taxis again. So most private car owners including government workers now use their cars as taxis to make extra money," our source noted.
Speaking further, the source said: "I am a civil servant but as you can see, I decided to take this one hour to 'hustle' because my wife and children at home don't understand that there is recession. I cannot use all my money to buy fuel and do maintenance and man must survive'', he added.
When asked how they feel about this new development, a cab driver who simply identified himself as Fryo expressed displeasure over the trend.
He called on the Federal Road Safety Corps (FCRS) to arrest private car owners involved in such practice. He said the trend has affected their daily returns.
"We don't like it. In fact, we are very angry. The worst thing is that most of them are workers that receive a monthly salary. It is now worse with this recession because I heard that government will soon stop paying salaries. Let them face their office work let us face the little that God has given us or let them resign and join our union because it is affecting our daily returns," Fryo said angrily.
Meanwhile, Joshua Shehu, an economist has said such situation could lead to under-employment.
He said: "Such a situation could lead to under-employment. This is because they are giving fewer hours to their job and this is usually the reason why you go to a typical government agency and you have to wait long hours before you are attended to."
He, however, advised the federal government to put in place palliative measures that would help cushion the effects of the recession.
In addition, Shehu also said a monitoring and evaluation unit in most government agencies could help reduce some of these occurrences.