23rd December, 2013
Barely a few days to Christmas celebration, some passengers travelling out of Lagos State, western Nigerian, are stranded because of the hike in transport fares.
It was learnt that the transport fares in most of the motor parks across the state have gone up to more than 100 percent because of mass transit of passengers to other parts of the country for the festivities.
Our correspondent who monitored the development reported that passengers in most of the parks visited, including Ojota, Mile 2, Orile, Mazamaza, Ikotun, Cele, Oshodi, were stranded because of the hike in transport fares due to shortage of buses for the travellers.
P.M.NEWS check revealed that the most affected passengers were those travelling to the eastern part of Nigeria for the celebrations.
It was gathered that the transport fares to eastern Nigeria which were between N2,500 and N3,000 before the Christmas season have increased to N6000 and N7,000.
Some of the stranded passengers lamented that bus fares to Enugu, Owerri and Aba were increased to N7,000 while those travelling to Rivers, Cross River and Akwa-Ibom states were forced to pay more than that.
A passenger, Mr John Okeke, told P.M.NEWS that he wanted to travel with his family of five, but when he got to the motor park in the morning and discovered that the bus fare to their destination has been hiked, he had to beg his wife to go back home with their children.
Another east-bound passenger, Mrs Lucy Ikedi, said she was stranded at the park because she could not afford the transport fare to her destination.
She said she was travelling to her countryside with her two children, but may be forced to abort her travelling plan because the money she had budgeted for her transportation to the east was not enough.
“If I travel now, the money I planned to use for other things will be spent on transportation.I do not know what to do now and I need to travel because of a burial ceremony,” she lamented.
Most of the transporters who spoke with P.M.NEWS explained that the general increase in transport fares was because of shortage of buses for passengers travelling out of the state.
A staff of Young Shall Grow Motors in Mazamaza, Lagos said that on Friday, the fare was N5,000 but they were forced to increase it to N6,000 because most of their drivers had to return to Lagos with no passengers.
He complained that there were not enough passengers for their return journey to Lagos compared to those travelling out of the state.