Osun Residents Groan Over Hike in Intracity Transport Fare

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    By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo

    Despite the reduction in the pump price of petrol by the Federal Government, residents in Osun State have continued to groan on the increase in intracity transport fare by drivers.

    The transport fare which was N50 before the COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed to N100, making life more unbearable for people living in the State.

    Some of the residents, who ply the road every day by boarding intracity commercial minibuses popularly called “Korope” disclosed that the bus drivers could not give a satisfactory explanation to justify the increase.

    In an interview with some of the residents, particularly those whose reside in Owode-Ede, lamented that such an increase, at a time when COVID-19 has affected their source of income negatively, describing the action of the transport operators as inhuman.

    A resident, Alhaja Silifat Olayiwola, said she could not fathom why the drivers would increase the transport fare when there is no scarcity of fuel or increment in price of fuel.

    She said, “When I confronted one driver to know why the fare was increased, he stared at me like a lizard. These people are really wicked; they convey the usual number of passengers, yet they increase the price. And I wonder why.”

    Another resident of the area, Adebayo Idowu, who owns a shop in Odiolowo area of Osogbo stated that increase came as a rude shock to him.

    Idowu said: “I was shocked when the driver insisted that I should pay N100 from Owode to Olaiya. This is wickedness! We are still battling with Coronavirus, and these Korope drivers have come up with this.

    He said, “The government should look into this latest development and do the needful because it will only make things much more difficult for poor people.”

    Another resident, Pastor Joseph Ogunlowo, implored the transport operators to have compassion on the populace, saying that “we ought to love one another right now, but this hike in transport fare is not a demonstration of love.”

    Speaking with some of the drivers on the increase, they maintained that the transport fare was increased as a result of COVID-19, and that they only acted on the directives of their leaders.

    A driver, who simply identified himself as Olatunji, said: “some of us are not happy about the development. We still convey normal passengers, I don’t see the reason for the increase in the transport fare but we are only acting on the directives of our leaders.”

    Speaking on behalf of the State Government, Engineer Hussain Olaniyan, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation said that there should be a consideration and support for the government’s effort to ease the pains on residents of the State.

    He denied the allegation that the State Government supported the transport operators’ action, noting that the Federal Government has reduced the pump price of fuel; hence, drivers should demonstrate empathy with commuters.

    Olaniyan said, “The government’s attention has been drawn to the move by some transport operators in the State to increase transport fares. We also heard that the transport operators claimed that the State Government is in support of their move to increase fares.

    “Government hereby refutes this claim. In order to resolve the situation, the government has invited the leadership of the transport union for an urgent meeting today at the Government Secretariat, Abere.”

    Olaniyan promised that further information on the transport fare will be communicated to the commuting members of the public.

     

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