Ondo state government has directed residents of the state to reject the hike in taxi fare introduced by the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW.
Also, commercial drivers operating under Road Transport Employeers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) have rejected the hike in transport fares in Akure metropolis and other parts of the state, pitching them against the NURTW.
The NURTW increased the transport fares from N50 per drop to N100. The state government has equally dissociated itself from the reported hike In daily ticket by taxi drivers from #250 to #700 which the union said necessitated the upward review of taxi fare. Reacting to the sudden hike, the Special Adviser to governor on Transport, Tobi Ogunleye said government was not part of the increase.
Ogunleye blamed the drivers union, NURTW for inflicting pains on the people.
“I don’t know how they arrived at that but I want to distant this government out of that. The government by our position we don’t have the authority and power to intervene in business of any union. The issue of #700 per ticket is strange to us, its quite embarrassing.
” From history, NURTW had not been yielding anything for the state, Okada rider, Tricycle drivers have always yielded an appreciable revenue for government and they did not increase their fare. ”
Ogunleye who said that the union increased its taxes to government coffers this year posited that people could reject any price that is not favorable in civil manner.
The state chairman of the NURTW, Jacod Adebo could not be reached for comment. But one of the union officers said that the hike was as a result of government increase in ticket paid by members daily.
Speaking in confidence, the officer said that the ticket was increased and the union too had to make money hence it equally jerked it up for its members.
A taxi driver said that the daily ticket was increased from N250 to N700. The whole drama is a collaboration between our union and government.
RTEAN also rejects hike by
commercial drivers operating under Road Transport Employeers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) have equally rejected hike in transport fares.
They vowed to maintain the old rate of #50 per drop.
Its state chairman Mr Adewale Bolarinwa who gave the directive while reacting to outcry over increase in the ticket and taxi fare, described the increment as inhuman.
Bolarinwa alleged that some hoodlums suspected to be agents of the NURTW have started attacking RTEAN members for not joining in the hike of the transport fare. He insisted that his members would continue to charge the old fare.
The Chairman called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and security agencies to call to order NURTW members and warn them against attacking his members to prevent bloody unrest in the state.
The state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the hike as ” importunate, inconsiderate, inhuman and insensitive action of the NURTW in a morbid rush to generate revenues that may ultimately find their way into the private pockets of a few privileged allies of the governor.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has reacted via a statement by it’s, Acting Director of Media and Publicity, Leye Igbabo. He said “Ondo State workers are already under the yoke of salaries that are not only irregular but reduced by 50%.
“Why must the governor look the other way while those he enthroned milk the public dry?”Our party thinks that instead of further overburdening the people who are only making ends meet amidst a ravaging pandemic, general unemployment and economic doldrums, the government should have looked inwards by blocking all the loopholes and conduit pipe through which the State resources are being fleeced uncontrollably.
He added that ” Our party however encourages the people of Ondo State to endure for a little time and pray along in that weeping may endure for a night; but joy comes in the morning. And the morning is at the door.