Despite the Federal Government’s 50 per cent fare rebate, passengers have lamented that the anticipated relief has yet to materialise, with transport costs remaining high.
President Bola Tinubu announced that the discount effective from December 21 to January 4, 2024, was to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.
To implement the directive, the government partnered with notable transport companies, including God is Good Motors, Chisco Transport, The Young Shall Grow Motors, God Bless Ezenwata, and Area Motor.
While some Nigerians view that development as a much-needed intervention to lower transportation expenses, others criticised it as an impractical programme that failed to alleviate the burden of high transportation costs.
Some of the passengers, who spoke to SKYBLASTTV, remarked that transport companies continued to inflate prices despite the 50 per cent rebate.
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A passenger, Maduforo Okonkwo en route to Aba, said, “The government’s announcement seemed promising, but the actual reduction isn’t reflected in our expenses. We expected a reprieve, especially during the festive season.”
“My brother, who left yesterday using Chisco, paid N27,000 to Aba. Some of these companies did not offer up to a 50 per cent reduction. Yes, the President did slash it but it seems these companies also exploited it.
“Before now, Chisco was not charging N54,000 as transport fare to Aba. If you are charging N27,000 now that the Federal Government is 50 per cent discount, it means they are purposely increasing.
He added, “No matter how you look at it, travellers are still paying over N25,000 on average on transport.”
At The Young Shall Grow Park, a university student, Nnamdi Chintuwa, who was travelling to Owerri, alleged that the transport companies were unrealistically charging passengers without any reason.
“Even with the reduction by the Federal government, passengers are still paying above N23,000. Are you saying that these companies would have charged over N45,000 just to travel from Lagos to South East? I don’t think Nigerians would want to pay such money.
“There are always excuses to give that are the truth, but the fact remains that these transporters are not just fair to themselves,” Chintuwa lamented.
Another passenger at ABC Transport Company, Emmanuel Edeh, said before the 50 per cent discount the transport fare was N30, 000 to Abuja from Lagos but now with the discount it had become N42,700.
Edeh added, “It means you are still paying above N21,000. For many people, it is still high.”
As of Tuesday morning, God is Good Motors, one of the companies collaborating with the Federal Government on the scheme, charges N36,000 for the Lagos to Owerri route.