Commercial bus drivers in Lagos State have expressed their support for the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
This sentiment was shared during a meeting held at the Lagos State Parks and Garages (LASPG) headquarters on Tuesday.
Deputizing for the chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (MC Oluomo), the Deputy Chairman of LASPG, Alhaji Sulaimon Ojora, commended the drivers for their understanding and cooperation with their leadership.
Ojora assured commuters that there would not be a significant increase in transport fares as a means of mitigating the impact of the subsidy removal.
“LASPG will ensure that passengers are not inconvenienced. Fuel subsidy is a detrimental issue that has been draining our economy and benefiting only a few individuals who pose as oil marketers. It is important to note that the removal of fuel subsidy will have immediate effects but will be beneficial to everyone in the long run,” Ojora stated.
The purpose of the meeting was to caution members against exploiting the situation by arbitrarily increasing bus fares. A seven-member committee has been established to monitor bus fares across the state, ensuring fairness and preventing exorbitant price hikes.
Ojora also urged bus drivers in other states to follow the example set by their colleagues in Lagos by keeping transport fares affordable for commuters.
One bus driver, Mr Adeshina Aroyewun, who operates the Ikorodu-Palmgroove route, welcomed the removal of fuel subsidy, believing it will contribute to the rapid growth of the economy. He noted that bus drivers have shown compassion toward commuters by only marginally increasing fares. For instance, the fare from Oyingbo to Ikeja has been raised by only N100.
“Previously, the fare from Oyingbo to Ikeja was N400. Now, we charge N500, which we believe is reasonable. Some drivers charge more, but we are appealing to them to reduce the fare to N400. As our leader mentioned, we do not want to inconvenience the passengers,” Aroyewun explained.
Another driver, Mr Akintade Abiodun, who operates on the Badagry-Mile 2 route, stated that bus drivers have increased fares by an additional N200 from Badagry to Mile 2.
However, they understand that drastically increasing fares would lead to skyrocketing prices of goods and commodities. In response to passengers’ appeals, some drivers have agreed to reduce the fare to N900 or revert to the original N800.
“We have accepted this adjustment as a way to support the administration of President Bola Tinubu,” Abiodun added.
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