On Monday, Nigeria’s House of Representatives tasked the Ministry of Transportation to monitor transport operators against fare hikes during and after the yuletide season.
In an adopted resolution, the lower Chamber said the hike in fares during Christmas and New year season should be stopped, given the hardship Nigerians are going through.
A motion sponsored by Hon. Chinedu Martin Emeka (PDP), representing Ahiazu/Ezinitte Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said the Transport Ministry should sanction any erring transporter.
He explained that the arbitrary hike culture in fares, which looks as if there is no regulatory agency, should be checked this time.
He said: “Urge the Ministry of Transport, to as a matter of urgent national importance, put modalities in place to monitor the activities of Transport operators across the country, especially during the yuletide, to curtail the obnoxious hike in fares, which must go with stipulated sanctions on erring operators, as a deterrent to others;
“Mandate the House Committee on Transport to interface with relevant agencies in ensuring that such seasonal arbitrariness comes to an end.
“Note that the recent arbitrary hike in Transport Fare across the country, is becoming a tradition, with the most recent, where the obnoxious increment is painfully hitting the Land Transportation, thereby, compounding the hardship situation across the board, as the Yuletide draws near;
“Further notes that 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 the Christmas and more as the days go by, a situation that is also viewed to be worsening the economic situation in the Country;
“Aware that the Yuletide is associated with lots of traveling, 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.
“Also be aware that such obnoxiously arbitrary increase, sometimes had 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 which is nothing short of gross insensitivity, occasioning economic sabotage.”
After contributions from a few members in favor of the motion, who pointed out that it would be unreasonable to increase transport fares, given that there would be no scarcity of fuel, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila upheld the prayers.