Despite the plea from Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for non-state-owned bus drivers to reduce transport fares by 25 percent and state-owned buses to reduce it by 50 percent, a monitoring tour by a team from the Lagos Ministry of Transportation yesterday revealed only partial compliance across all routes to the governor’s directive.
During the tour, the Director of Transport Operations of the Lagos Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Olasunkanmi Ojoowuro, spoke to Parks and Garages union officials. He conveyed the governor’s concern about transport fares, emphasizing that transportation is crucial for all sectors.
Ojoowuro, who represented the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Abdulahfiz Toriola, highlighted the impact of fuel price increases on drivers’ income and how it affects various sectors, including the government. He stressed the need to maintain the right balance in the transport sector.
Ojoowuro also urged transporters to comply with traffic rules to uphold the State’s reputation as the “Centre of Excellence.”
While state-owned buses, including the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), have indeed reduced transport fares by 50 percent, operators have introduced an N50 tax payment in fares to offset the effect of the 50 percent fare reduction.
At Iyana-Ipaja bus park, the Ministry of Transportation’s team encountered a BRT bus complying with the 50 percent directive but adding an N50 tax to fares. For example, the Iyana-Ipaja to Ikeja fare, previously N250, is now N175 (reduced from N125), with the N50 tax included.
At Pen Cinema garage in Agege, commercial bus drivers expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s directive, noting that daily ticket was only reduced by 25 percent (from N800 to N600) while other expenses remained unchanged or even hiked.
This includes PMS (petrol) prices, spare parts, servicing, and various fees charged by the state, such as annual insurance fees and roadworthiness fees.
Source: The Guardian