By Aisha Cole
Some commuters in Lagos have commended the Lagos State Government for effecting the slash in fares on the Bus Rapid Transit scheme since Wednesday, describing it as a relief.
They spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos on Sunday.
Recall that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had on Monday announced that the state was effecting a 50 per cent slash on fares on the BRT buses with effect from Wednesday, Aug. 2.
The move was to reduce the hardship faced by commuters in the aftermath of the removal of petrol subsidy.
Sanwo-Olu had also said the yellow buses privately owned had also promised 25 per cent reduction on their fares from the same date.
A trader in Orile area of Lagos, Mr Jude Emeka, who sells furniture, said he spent more that N4,000 on transportation from Orile to Okoafo to and fro, before Wednesday.
He said that since Wednesday, after government directive on transportation reduction, however, he had been spending between N2,400 and N2,600 on the return journey daily.
Emeka said the reduction made things easier for him and commended the government on the move.
A teacher, Mrs Margret Ajayi, who works at Onipan area and resides in Iyana Ipaja, commended the state government for reducing the fares to N350 instead of N600, they paid before the slash.
She said it brought some relief, but asked government to make good its promises on other palliatives.
A resident of Osho Street, Shomolu, Mr Kayode Kalejaiye, said he sells keys in Lagos and his children’s school was also in the area, so he was able to monitor them after school.
“Since the subsidy removal, I had been taking my children to school thrice in a week due to hike in transportation.
” I pray that the reduction in fares by the Lagos government continues, to enable me to take my children to school from Monday to Friday, ” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that commercial bus fares from Lagos to Mushin that used to cost N600 is now N300, while government buses cost N250 from Ikorodu to Fadeyi, Ikeja and Oshodi, down from the N400 charged before.
NAN also observed that commercial buses had reduced their fares from Ikorodu to Oshodi to N400, from N700 paid earlier after the subsidy removal.
Meanwhile, Prof. Bamidele Badejo, of Department of Geography, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ajowoye, said that the reduction in fares by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was a good intervention.
He appealed to more commercial buses (Yellow Buses) to also make good their promise of 25 per cent reduction in transportation fares across Lagos.
Also speaking, Associate Professor, Victor Dosumu, of Department of Transport Management, Ladoke Akintola University, (LAUTECH), commended the Federal Government for the removal of subsidy, but said there was the need for refineries to reduce its impact on prices.
Dosumu commended the effort of Gov. Sanwo-Olu for cushioning the effect of subsidy removal, but said the reduction in fares would have minimal effect in the state because of its huge population.
“I supported the subsidy removal but government should return the pump price until Dangote and government refineries become operational.
“We can not rely on Dangote refinery alone because it is a mark of monopoly, ” Dosumu said.
Dosumu, however, pleaded with the Lagos State Government to release more government buses to enable Lagos residents enjoy the reduction in fares.(NAN).