Tuesday, January 5, 2016 5:16 pm
This is not the best of time for most people who travelled to the southeastern part of Nigeria for celebration of Christmas and New Year.
They are not finding it easy to return to their various places of abode due to increase in transport fares.
As such, most of intending travellers have decided to stay back pending when the fares would be reduced by transporters.
TheNEWS investigation showed that unlike in the case after previous festivities, passengers have not besieged transport companies after the yuletide season. In spite of the few passengers around, transport companies have almost doubled the fares to various destinations.
Some of the companies our reporter visited in some states in the east include GUO Motors, Libra Motors, God Is Good Motors, Peace Motors, among others.
In major towns in Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebony states, transporters have increased fares astronomically.
Transporters whose buses are plying Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan from Onitsha, Ogidi, Ekwolobia, Awka and Ihiala charge between N7,000 and N8,000 unlike in the past when the fares were drastically reduced after Christmas.
Our reporter also gathered that in states such as Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Abia, passengers now pay between N9,000 and N12,000 for trips to Abuja, Lagos, Ondo and Ogun respectively.
In Asaba, Delta State capital, the fares are slightly different as transporters collect between N6,000 and N8,000 for a trip to Lagos, depending on the transport company.
Libra Motors manager, Gabriel Offor, offered explanation on why the fares were almost doubled. He said any bus that loaded from the east to Lagos or Abuja will return empty and the driver will buy petrol so they have to pass the burden to travellers.
Offor noted that in the past, after Christmas celebration the fares usually reduced, adding it was not the case this year due to fuel scarcity.
One of the passengers who spoke to our reporter, Mrs Rose Okeke, said she was stranded in Onitsha due to the high fare.
She said she travelled to their town, Ogidi, in Anambra State, with her four children who are supposed to go back to Lagos to resume school after Christmas.
She said she was shocked when she was told that the fare had been increased to N8,000 for the trip back to Lagos.
Mrs. Okeke said she had to go back home because she could not afford the fare.
Another passenger, Mike Obialor said he was surprised about the fare increase.