The House of Representatives has decried the arbitrary increase in transport fare by transport operators in the country during festive periods and asked the Ministry of Transport, to as a matter of urgency put modalities in place to curtail such practice.
Adopting a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Chinedu Martin Emeka (PDP, Imo), the House said operators engaged in an obnoxious increase in transport fare should be sanctioned by the government.
The Lawmaker said the 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.
He said this habit of increasing fare by transporters is gradually becoming a national pandemic, where Commuters are decrying that the arbitrary hike in fares in some cases had reached almost 100 per cent, 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.
According to him, 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.
He explained 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.
He stressed that the trend is not only becoming too dangerous to ignore, but a total set back on the Country’s recuperating economy, especially when factors like the demons of unusual fuel scarcity that formally triggers hike in fares had been taken care of by the Government through the recent deregulation of the downstream sector of the Oil and Gas industry.
He emphasised that the unabating increase in fares during the Yuletide is becoming too traditional, thereby questioning the place of Government in such obviously inconsiderate moves, that has brought into focus the worst sides of humanity that do not care about the effect of arbitrariness that often leaves many of the citizenries in untold hardship with the corresponding hunger or starvation, and in some cases, stranded.
He said further that well-meaning Nigerians are already viewing the situation as a gross exhibition of greed and monumental corruption on the part of the transporters who capitalize on the rush and harsh realities, to exploit and rip the people off their hard-earned money that invariably put a question mark on the Country’s drive for Fight Against Corruption.