Some passengers traveling from Enugu State to other parts of the country have bemoaned increased transport fares by transport operators, who have blamed their action on the removal of subsidy on petrol pump price by the Federal Government.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), passengers at various motor parks, said they were surprised by the “alarming” increase in the transportation fares since the end of fuel subsidy.
A passenger, Onyekachi Agu, at Holy Ghost Park, Enugu, said that the transporters increased the fares by up to 50 per cent.
“Before the removal of subsidy, it was N3,500 from Enugu to Onitsha by Sienna cars as against the current price of N5,000.”
Another passenger, Joshua Ibe, said he could not, as a student, afford to pay N25,200 from Enugu to Lagos.
“I have been advised to go to Onitsha, where I can get a cheaper vehicle to Lagos because I cannot afford to pay N25,200 just to get to my destination,” he said.
At the Enugu Old Park, Alex Ukoh, said that that before now, he paid N7,000 to Abuja as against the current price of N16,500 and above depending on the type of vehicle.
Tina Nwoye, a passenger at Garki Motor Park, Enugu, said that the fare to Port-Harcourt had increased from N4,000 to N5,500.
“These high fares will discourage many people from travelling, except on issues that are so important to them,” she said.
A passenger travelling from Enugu to Kano, who pleaded anonymity, expressed worry over the lack of variety of vehicles plying the route due to the hike in fares.
“The inability of many passengers to pay for the transportation fares to Kano was why only few vehicles ply the route.
“I was told to go to Abuja or Onitsha as it will be easier for me to get a Kano vehicle.
“It is unfortunate that I will pay double the amount that brought me to Enugu due to the high cost of transportation fares,” he said.
Some transport managers said that the subsidy removal distorted costs of transportation.
Ifeanyi Ojukwu, acting manager of Ugo Star Motors, said it had not been easy for the transporters to cope with the cost of fuel as a litre of fuel now goes for N650 as against N280 before the removal of subsidy.