Abuja – Some FCT commercial drivers and transport unions have expressed displeasure over the low turnout of passengers few days to Eid el Fitr celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that few passengers were at most of the parks in the FCT and many vehicles were empty waiting for passengers.
Alhaji Musa Abaji, Chairman, Branch 3 of the NURTW Taxi Long Journey Division at the Utako Central Motor Park in the FCT, attributed the low turnout of commuters to the security challenges in the country.
Abaji said there used to be rush by commuters ahead of any festive period in the country, but added that only few were now willing to travel out of their stations for fear of explosions at the parks.
Also speaking to NAN, some commercial drivers expressed concern that the frequent bomb explosions in Kaduna and Kano had restricted movements of commuters from Abuja.
“The curfew in Kaduna affected our transport business in the park but after lifting the curfew we started seeing some passengers at the park.
“Our transport fares remain the same. Abuja to Kaduna is N1, 500; Lagos, N5, 500; Ilorin, N4, 000; Maiduguri, N6, 000 and Kano, N2, 600.”
“We decided not to increase the fare in order to encourage patronage from passengers going to different places in the country,’’ one of the drivers explained.
Mr Taiwo Hassan, a member of National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW), appealed to the Federal Government to make the various parks across the nation safe so as to promote the transport business.
Mr Emmanuel Aboor, the Manager of New Nyanya Transport Company, said recurring bomb blasts had affected the turnout of commuters, describing the situation as“ very bad and discouraging”.
“In the recent past, there used to be mad a rush of commuters but because people are afraid of the present security challenges, there tends to be low patronage.
“Though we have equipped our park with some security gadgets including scanners which we use to screen passengers’ bags and vehicles, there is poor turnout ,’’ Aboor said.
He noted that transport fares also remained the same as people were not travelling in large numbers as they used to.
“We take N4, 500 to Calabar, N3, 000 to Onitsha, N1, 200 to Markurdi, N1000 to Jos and 2,000 to 0goja,
Aboor urged the federal government to install security devices at strategic places.
Mr Adams Yahaya, a member of Self-Employed Commercial Drivers Association (SECDA) at the Nyanya Motor Park, said the multiple explosions in Kaduna on Wednesday and bomb blast in Kano on Thursday had affected his transport business.
He said that no commuter had indicated Kaduna and Kano as their destinations at the park while those going to other areas were few. (NAN)