Reps move against fare hike during Yuletide
The House of Representatives on Monday urged the Ministry of Transport to put modalities in place to monitor the activities of transport operators with a view to curtailing hike in transport fares during the Yuletide.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Chinedu Emeka (PDP-Imo) at the plenary on Monday.
Moving the motion earlier, Mr. Emeka said that modalities must go with stipulated sanctions on erring operators to serve as a deterrent to others.
He said that the recent arbitrary hike in transport fares in the country was becoming a tradition.
The lawmaker said that the increment is painfully hitting land transportation, thereby compounding the hardship for commuters across the board, as the Yuletide draws near.
“The development is becoming a national pandemic, where commuters are decrying that the arbitrary hike in fares in some cases had reached almost 100 percent, barely a week to Christmas.
“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.
“Such arbitrary increase, sometimes has nothing to do with the economic indices or the reality on the ground, but a by-product of the greedy discretion of the park managers who decide the prices depending on turnout of the day,” he said.
Mr. Emeka said that the hike is nothing short of gross insensitivity occasioning economic sabotage.
He said the trend is not only becoming too dangerous to ignore, but also a total setback on the country’s recuperating economy, especially when factors like the unusual fuel scarcity that formally triggers hike in fares had been taken care of by the government.
“This government had done this through the recent deregulation of the downstream sector of the Oil and Gas industry.
“The unabating increase in fares during the Yuletide is becoming too traditional, thereby questioning the place of Government in such obviously inconsiderate moves that have brought into focus the worst sides of humanity that does not care about the effect of an arbitrariness that often leave many of the citizenry in untold hardship with the corresponding hunger or starvation.
“The mission of the Federal Ministry of Transport is not only to perform the state management of Roads, Rail, Inland Waterways, Sea and Air Transport, nationwide, but of the public service, according to law, which is partly to regulate its application by the operators as it would be favorable to the entire citizenry,” he said.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, has mandated the House Committee on Transport to interface with relevant agencies in ensuring that such seasonal arbitrariness comes to an end.
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