Luxury bus owners have blamed the rising running and maintenance costs as reasons for the recent N1,000 on their fares across various routes.
This is coming shortly after the Association of Private Transport Companies of Nigeria had announced its plans to increase fares by about 70 per cent in order to stay in business.
According to the association, due to the economic challenges and poor infrastructure, the transport owners had no choice than to resort to the fare review as a painful survival measure.
The association said the combined effects of dilapidated roads, rising costs of maintaining the vehicles and high prices of new buses would drive the business to the brink unless the government of President Muhammadu Buhari urgently intervened in the matter.
By the new fare regime, ALBON said passengers on the Lagos-Abuja route would henceforth pay N7,000 (up from N6,000), while those on the Lagos-Kano that paid N6,500 previously would pay N7,500; similarly, the fare on the Lagos to Port Harcourt trip that was hitherto N5,200, would be N6,200.
The ALBON President, Chief Dan Okemuo, also cited the pump price of diesel currently selling at N200 as against the previous N145 per litre; a drum of lube oil that was N95,000, but went up to N147,000; and the price of petrol (that members’ mini-buses use) which is now N145 from N87 per litre as reasons for the fare hike.
“Equally, the price of a single tyre (for our big bus) is now N144,000 as against the previous price of N85,000. As you are already aware, these sharp increases in prices are due to the current economic recession, which in turn has affected price levels in the country.” He explained.
Okemuo said it was “a notorious fact that some major federal roads are in terribly poor conditions”, lamenting that the situation had imposed a heavy maintenance burden on the transporters due to increased wear and tear on their vehicles.
Although he said that major repair work had been carried out on a few sections of some roads such as the Ore-Benin Expressway, the association pointed out that numerous others remained in frightening conditions.
It listed some of the affected roads as Omotosho-Ijebu-Ode within Ondo and Ogun states on the Sagamu-Benin Expressway; and Ubiaja-Uromi road leading to Abuja; Oyibo road, connecting Aba-Port-Harcourt road; as well as Ikot Ekpene-Itu-Udukpani road, connecting Uyo and Calabar.
Other roads in deplorable state, according to Okemuo, are Ikwuano-Ikot-Ekpene, connecting Abia and Akwa Ibom states; Enugu- Onitsha expressway; the Benin section of Asaba-Benin highway; Ilorin-Mokwa-Minna-Abuja; and Enugu-Port-Harcourt.
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