Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Transport Fares Soar, Passengers Stranded

Some passengers travelling for Christmas from Gombe were yesterday stranded because of the scarcity of vehicles to convey them to their destinations.

Some of the passengers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they wanted to travel to Yola and Maiduguri for Christmas but could not find vehicles to board.

They said they had spent over two hours at Gombe Line Motor Park without getting buses to their destinations.

One passenger, Ms Dora Yakubu, said she came to the park in the morning but could not board a vehicle and appealed to the authorities to ensure that buses were provided at such festive periods.

Malam Mohammed Rabiu, a Yola-bound passenger, said he had spent one and a half hours waiting for a bus.

Malam Madu Maina, a driver, said transporters were not keen in going to Yola and Maiduguri because they would not get passengers on the return trip.

Maina also said that the high cost of fuel contributed to the situation.

He pointed out that petrol sold at between N135 and N140 in the area compared to the approved pump price of N97.

Meanwhile, transporters in Benin have capitalised on the yuletide to increase fares.

A NAN survey at motor parks in Benin on Monday showed that a journey from Benin to Onitsha and Asaba that used to attract N900 is now N1, 500, while Benin to Enugu is N2, 500 instead of N1,700.

Similarly, fares for trips from Benin to Abraka and Warri in Salon cars rose from N800 to N1,400, while Benin to Bayelsa increased from N1,700 to N2,200.

Some passengers condemned the increases and accused the transporters of extortion.

"Anyway, we do not have choice since we want to spend Christmas with our families in the village.

"I just pray God to touch their mind so that they can stop the attitude," Mrs Agnes Okoro said.

NAN

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