The yuletide period is often an occasion for passengers to travel regardless of the distance within or outside the state of their abode with the aim of joining their families and friends for a Christmas celebration.

However, inter and intra-state commercial drivers in Ibadan, Oyo State have lamented the high cost of premium motor spirit also known as petrol and vehicles spare parts attributing it to their decision to hike their transportation fare.

Radio Nigeria correspondent, who monitored the transportation situation, reports that passengers travelling for the yuletide celebration were also not happy with the increase in the fare.

The hike in transportation fares within and outside the state occasioned by the high cost of petroleum products had led to few passengers in motor parks.

During visits to Ojoo, Iwo Road, Challenge Motor parks and private transport companies, it was observed that transportation fares had increased by 35 and 50 percent compared to the situation in 2021.

For instance, Ibadan to Kaduna, Kano, which before now was between N6,050 and N8,050 by bus, goes for between N10,100 and N11,100.

However, passengers with a preference for cars will have to pay N12,100.

The same applies to vehicles plying from Ibadan to Sokoto which by bus cost N10,000 and car N12,000.

Ibadan to Okenne, Lokoja and Abuja ranges between N10,100 and N13,500 depending on passengers’ choice of vehicle.

The situation was not too different for passengers travelling from Ibadan to Warri delta state, which cost 10,000, Onitsha N12,050 Benin N7,000, port Harcourt N15,000  as confirmed by secretary of the park management system at Iwo road, Mr Abiola Akiode.

“Before Benin is N5,050,  Warri is N7,000 but now N10,000 is Warri, Benin is N7,000. Port Harcourt is N15,000.

The increase is because of the fuel. then the parts that we buy and other things for the motor are very expensive. You understand. No passengers like before. We pray may God let this country be as when things are good”, Akiode said.

Mr Fidelis Ogbonna, a general manager of a popular transportation company with a branch in Ibadan confirmed the fare in an interview with Radio Nigeria.

Radio Nigeria took time to confirm from a private transport firm  where it was observed that passengers travelling to Enugu, Bayelsa from Ibadan were made to brace up for N15,000 while Calabar and Uyo is N18,000

“It seems as if it is a planned something that once it comes to the December period there will be a scarcity of fuel. I don’t know why it should be so”.

Ogbonna speaks further: ” This is year is particularly different. How can a driver buy fuel for N250 or N300 per litre that has led to a hike in transport fairs across the country?

People are not rushing this year like last year. People prefer sending their loved ones gift items and staying back. People are really suffering in this country.  Things are really really very tough.

Government is in a position to regulate these people. They give an order and the order, it must be carried out. We have many refineries and none is working or working well.

If we supply fuel to neighbouring countries and they are enjoying it, why should we that are having it be suffering? So government should buckle up.”

Speaking on the transportation fare, Mr Ogbonna said “Ibadan to Abuja is N12,000. We don’t normally increase Ibadan to Abuja. Abakaliki is about N16,000, Onitsha is about N15,000, Enugu N16,000, Calabar, Uyo N18,000.

People want to travel but they don’t have the means. I personally want to travel but I don’t have the means. I want all my family to go, but I don’t have the money.”

Radio Nigeria also observed that passengers travelling by bus from Ibadan to Lagos have to pay N2,000, Sango Ota N2,500, Ibadan to Akure by bus ranged between N2,000 and  2,500 while by car cost N3,000, Ibadan to Ado-Ekiti by bus also ranged between 3,000 and 3,500, while the car fair is N4,000. Ibadan to Osogbo by bus which before now was N800 now cost N1,000

In an interview, one of the inter-state park managers at Iwo, Mr Kehinde Olanrewaju and two intra-state transporters Olanrewaju Alade and John Ehigwueze attributed the situation to high-cost of petrol per litre and vehicle parts.

 “Fuel is costly and spare parts also. people don’t travel this year. People don’t travel, some are even stranded. Even when passengers are stranded here, we assist them,” Olanrewaju said.

The transporters, who lamented low passenger turnout, appealed to the government to urgently address the current inflation the nation is grappling with.

A passenger, Miss Bose Adekunle lamented the high cost of transportation which she said was unexpected.

At Nigerian Railway Corporation Moniya, passengers were also seen boarding the standard gauge to Lagos and Abeokuta.

Rotimi Famakin

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