OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives on Monday passed a motion to bar transporters from raising transport fares for commuters during the Christmas and New Year period.

It urged the Ministry of Transport, to as a matter of urgency, put modalities in place to monitor the activities of transport operators across the country, especially during the Yuletide, in order to curtail obnoxious hike in fares.

It further recommended sanctions on erring operators, as deterrence to others while mandating its Committee on Transport to interface with relevant agencies in ensuring that such seasonal arbitrariness comes to an end.

The House reached the resolution after adopting a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Mr. Emeka Chinedu (PDP, Imo).

While presenting the Motion, Mr. Chinedu noted that “the recent arbitrary hike in transport fares across the country is becoming a tradition where the obnoxious increment is painfully hitting land transportation, thereby, compounding the hardship situation across the board, as the Yuletide draws near”.

He noted further,” that the development is becoming a national pandemic, where commuters are decrying the arbitrary hike in fares (which) in some cases had reached almost 100 per cent, barely a week to the Christmas and more as the days go by, a situation that is also viewed to be worsening the economic situation  in the country”.

According  to him, “the yuletide is associated with lots of travelling, as the longest holiday season, which triggers a proportionate movement of people from one destination to the other, hence the understanding of the economic implications that snowballs to a marginal increase in fares due to forces of demand on the existing supply chain, that such obnoxiously arbitrary increase, sometimes had nothing to do with the economic indices or the reality on ground, but a by-product of the greedy discretion of the park managers who decide the prices depending on turnout of the day which is nothing short of gross insensitivity, occasioning economic sabotage”.

He raised concerns that “the trend is not only becoming too dangerous to ignore but a total setback on the country’s recuperating economy, especially when factors like the demons of fuel scarcity that formally triggers hike in fares had been taken care of by the government through the recent deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry”.

He also expressed concern that “well-meaning Nigerians are already viewing the situation as a gross exhibition of greed and monumental corruption on the part of the transporters who capitalize on the rush and harsh realities, to exploit and rip the people off their hard earned money that invariably put a question mark on the country’s drive for fight against corruption”.

He observed that “some factors responsible for the ugly development are: insufficient/Inadequate attention to relevant sectors by relevant government agencies, poor supervision as a result of lack of concern about the plight of the people across the board, insatiable crave for money at the detriment of others and so on”.

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