Osogbo residents divided over planned transport fare hike

  Residents of Osogbo, the Osun State capital, have expressed divergent views to the planned increment of fares by commercial minibus driver...

 

Residents of Osogbo, the Osun State capital, have expressed divergent views to the planned increment of fares by commercial minibus drivers called ‘Korope’ from Monday, May 17, 2021, citing economic hardship in the country.

It was gathered that some residents are in support of the hike, saying it is overdue while others believe the timing is not right because of the bad economy bedevilling the country.

According to notices handed to passengers on Friday, the drivers’ union stated that the fare, which stood at N50 to and from major routes in the city will be increased to N100, representing a 100 per cent hike.

Saga Gist reports that the notice, which was written in Yoruba, read: “This is to inform all commercial mini bus drivers in Osogbo metropolis that as from Monday, May 17, the fare per drop is N100.

“Anyone who contravenes this increment will pay a fine of N5,000. This is the joint decision of all mini bus drivers (Korope) in Osogbo.”

Reacting to the development, a content creator based in the city, Adegbite Adedamola opined that, “the N100 per drop is just to start dragging from a vantage point. They will end up somewhere around N70 or N80 but come Monday, it is almost certain that korope fares are not going to be N50 anymore.”

Oluwakemi Oginni in her reaction agreed with the union, explaining that the drivers have families to cater for and the cost of goods have skyrocketed.

Latona Lolade echoed Oginni’s opinion, saying, “a brand new korope (minibus) sells for about N1.8 and N2 million and considering the rate of inflation at the moment, charging N100 per drop is not too much. If you are a bus owner, you will know it is long overdue.”

Muritala Kehinde based his support for the increment on the fact that prices of goods in the market have increased drastically.

However, Jare Ismahil Tiamiyu, who disagreed with the increment, said it is outrageous, considering the fact that many people still haggle with the drivers over N30. He called on the state government to wade in before implementation of the hike commences on Monday.

Adegoke Paul and Nile Oluwatoyin noted that charging N100 for a drop is too much, adding that commercial motorcyclists may follow suit.

Another resident, Ayodele Ojo, while expressing his displeasure with the hike, explained that the 100 per cent increment is too much since wages and salaries have not been increased.

Other residents suggested the use of tricycles, popularly called ‘keke NAPEP’, to counter the minibus drivers’ decision to increase their fare.

The government in their reaction declared that the announcement by the minibus operators as shocking as there was no prior notice from their leadership.

Engr. Olatoke Olaniyan, the Special Adviser on Transport to the Osun State Governor, said, “We are communicating with them to suspend forthwith their intended action and inviting them for discussion on the issue.

“We take cognisance of the fact that there has been a general increase in the prices of basic items in the country, we are of the opinion that such could not affect or attract a whopping 100% increase in the cost of transportation. We look forward to having a good landing with this segment of transport operators such as to ameliorate the cost of living of our people.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the union proved abortive as many of the operators declined to speak on the issue.

However, a driver, who pleaded anonymity, said that the general increase of goods and services in the country, as well as the high cost of purchasing and maintenance of the minibuses, forced the union to review the fare, which has been unchanged for up to decade.

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Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News: Osogbo residents divided over planned transport fare hike
Osogbo residents divided over planned transport fare hike
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