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Commuters to pay more as private transporters raise fare by 25 per cent

By Benjamin Alade
05 August 2022   |   2:37 am
This was contained in a memo issued by the Association of Private Transport Company Owners of Nigeria (APTCON), addressed to operators under its aegis.

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Private transport owners have announced a 25-per cent increase in fares for inter-state trips.

This was contained in a memo issued by the Association of Private Transport Company Owners of Nigeria (APTCON), addressed to operators under its aegis.

Besides, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its Transport Fare Watch for May 2022, said the average fare paid by commuters for bus inter-city journeys per drop rose to N3, 668.64 in May 2022 as against N2, 490.6 in May 2021, indicating an increase of 47.3 per cent.

On a month-on-month (MoM) basis, the increase was 3.13 per cent, from N3, 557.15 recorded in April 2022 to N3, 668.64.

According to the ‘Transport Fare Watch for June 2022’, fares of different modes of transport in the country were analysed and published, but Lagos did not top in any of the highest fares despite the significance of transport to the nation’s commercial hub.

Abuja, Adamawa and Kogi had the highest transport fares for intercity bus journeys with N5,540.30, N5,200.50 and N4,754.00 respectively, as the annual average transport of this category rose by 45.21 per cent. The average in June 2021 was N2,522.44 while it was N3,662.87 in June 2022.

The annual average transport fare for intercity bus journeys across the federation increased by 42.02 per cent from N410.32 last June to N582.61 in June 2022. Zamfara recorded the highest with N822.50 in this category followed by Taraba with N750.50 and Bauchi came third with N700.00.

Already in June, the petrol scarcity experienced in major Nigerian cities took a toll on commuters, resulting in about 35 to 50 per cent hike in fares by transporters on some routes.

The scarcity resurfaced in Lagos after the independent marketers, under the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said it was no longer sustainable to sell petrol at the official price of N162 to N165 per litre.

According to the internal memo titled, “Notification of price increase effective August 25, 2022,” private interstate passenger transport company owners of Nigeria are mandated to “increase bus fares across all interstate routes by 25 per cent effective August 25, 2022.

The implication of the increase will affect passengers using interstate buses, who will likely pay more for their respective routes.

The body also explained that this increase was borne out of the “downturn that has greatly affected all sectors of the economy, especially transportation. In response to the high cost of operations, while many trade associations have increased charges as a means of survival, some others, like the elitist airlines, have received post-pandemic intervention funds from the government.

“Unfortunately, our industry, which moves 96 per cent of Nigerians, is not exempt from the crisis as our operating costs have risen significantly without any form of government support or incentive.”

It noted the challenges facing the interstate transport sector include the price of fuelling vehicles increased from N165 to N179 – (a percentage increase of seven per cent); the cost of diesel has risen from an average of N250 a year ago to over N800 per litre today (percentage increase of 220 per cent); Nigeria’s inflation hits a 65-month high of 18.6 per cent in June 2022, significantly increasing cost of operations by at least 50 per cent.

It also added scarcity of foreign exchange and high exchange rates as factors that have made it impossible for transporters to purchase new vehicles, adding that the cost of spare parts for vehicle maintenance had risen by almost 80 per cent; and the unit cost of Hiace buses has risen from N25million to N37 million – (percentage increase of 48 per cent).