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Christmas: Travellers groan as transporters increase fares by 100 percent

Interstate transport companies have raised fares by at least 100 per cent as yuletide travels begin nationwide. The fare spike is not unconnected with the nationwide fuel scarcity, attendant hike at available filling stations and demand surge that is typical of this season.

 

Findings by The Guardian showed that fares on various routes have increased significantly. For instance, a Lagos-Abuja trip on GIGM now goes for N26,500 compared with N11,000 it charged about two months ago.

 

Trips, from Lagos to Warri, Sapele, Bayelsa and Ughelli, currently charge N12,000, instead of the previous N8,000. Lagos to Port Harcourt fare goes for N15,000, in contrast to the N10,000 charged two months ago.

 

Operators confirmed that the prices were subject to review as the festive season draws nearer – subject to demand and company policies.

 

Railway travellers are not also exempted from the fare hike. According to an internal memo of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) sighted by The Guardian, from November 30, 2022, travelling from Lagos to Ibadan on the 24-seater coaches will now cost N9,000 instead of N6,500; the 56 and 68-seater coaches will now cost N6,500 instead of N5,000, and the 88-seater coaches will attract N3,600 instead of N2,500.

 

Fares for Lagos to Abeokuta have been raised for the 24-seater coaches to N6,000; 56 and 68-seater coaches, N4,500 and 88-seater coaches, N3,000.

 

For the Warri-Itakpe Train Services (WITS), Ujevwu to Itakpe on the 56-seater coaches will now cost N9,000 while on the 88-seater coaches, it will be N5,000.

 

Similarly, for the AKTS, from Idu to Rigasa, the price has been pegged at N9,000 for 24-seater coaches, N6,500 for 56 and 68-seater coaches and N3,600 for 88-seater coaches while minors will pay N3,000 flat.

 

The NRC stated that earlier approved add-on costs that are deductible from every ticket sale are to apply and that the changes take immediate effect.

 

However, some passengers who spoke at the Mobolaji Johnson Train Station, Lagos, lamented that there was no prior notification about the new train fares before implementation.

 

Although some of the transport companies are yet to increase fares as they await order of increment from their management, the majority has increased their fares due to the current economic realities.

 

A supervisor at Iyare Motors said: “The fuel scarcity is taking a toll on our business and we had to increase the fares a little. There is no year-end without celebration. It is the government that needs to reconsider its actions and policies.”

 

Manager, Libra Motors terminal, Uzochukwu Mbafe, said operationally, the company had put everything in place for the season based on maintenance of the vehicles and cost-control measures.

 

Mbafe said: “We know that other transport companies have increased their fares. On our own part, we are still looking for ways to make fares reasonable for all our customers because they have been with us from the beginning of the year. There has been an increase in the past few months but the increment was so minimal – a thousand extra based on the fuel scarcity.

 

“Before now, Warri was N7,700, Owerri was N11,000, Onitsha was N10,000, Benin was N6,700 and Umuahia was N12,000. So, you can see that it is just N1000 that we added to the route.

 

“Like I said, our price will increase based on the demand but if you check going by the records, it’s just N1000 we are adding.”

 

Manager, Skystep Synergy and Logistics, Chris Eyo, said of course there would be an increase in fare prices based on demand.

 

Eyo said: “In as much as we are into the transportation business, we try to also look at the convenience of passengers to get home safely within their budget. Our prices are not too outrageous because we consider all of these things.

 

 

(The Guardian)

 

 

 

 

 

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