By Elizabeth Adegbesan

Bus fares are soaring everyday and the salary earner has to make a choice. A journey of 10 kilometres now attracts almost a hundred per cent fare increase and that is not a joke for a salary earner, whose requests for salary increment hardly comes. 

So, when you see a group of people trekking, like in the days of war-torn Rwanda and Sierra Leone, do not panic. It is just that people have taken the easiest alternative to survive.

Though the sight is so distasteful and appalling, survival is paramount in a country where oil marketers hover the price of petrol between N175 and N230 per litre.

Economy & Lifestyle gathered that intercity transport fares have risen by over 90 per cent in the past few months, after oil marketers raised the price of petrol.

A casual worker in a Lagos-based construction firm, Mr. Saheed Abodunrin, said: “The rate at which things are getting worse in the country is alarming. 

My salary has not increased since 2020. The kind of job I do doesn’t give me time to do alternative jobs like others. The other day at the bus stop, I discovered that transport fares have risen by almost 100 percent. By the tme I got home I had spent nothing less than N3,500 from Agbara to the Island and back home. This is a journey I never made beyond a budget of N2,000 before. So, the next day, I decided to trek from my house, which is very far, to the bus stop, and also trek to the office when I alighted at CMS, which is also a long distance.

“Now, before I leave home, I check Google Map to see where there will be traffic, so that I can split my journey in between to beat traffic and save money. 

“Actually, I have saved up to N800 with this routine. 

“I have other colleagues, who have resorted to doing the same to meet their transportation budget per month.”

Adebisi Okunowo, a Secretary who works on the mainland said:” Since July this year, I have waited so long at the bus stops just to see if I could get a driver who is humane enough to call a fair fare. 

Sometimes, this causes my lateness to work and back. Now, a bus to Iyana-Iba from Mile 2 which used to be N100 is now, about N400. Even the luxurious buses are not left out. 

“I wait for N200 buses every day. Saving N200 every day for a month helps a lot”, she added.

However, although trekking is part of keeping fit, too much of it does the body more harm than good.

Mr Usen Abednego, an Accountant and Fashion designer in Lagos said: “The issue of trekking in Lagos due to increase in cost of transportation is no more news but has become a normal lifestyle . 

“Personally, it is painful and pitiable seeing people trek long distances, not for exercise purposes but just because they can’t afford the fare to their destinations. 

“My problem actually is that these long distant trekking which has almost become a norm, leads people to getting preventable accidents,  maimed or robbed.

“On the other hand, it leads to unnecessary pain and adds stress to the Nigeria’s working class . 

“Let’s not forget, a large percentage of working class in Nigerians were already complaining that their salaries couldn’t match up expenses. Now the expenses have increased with fares soaring. 

“Everywhere, companies  complain of low performance by some staff, the truth is, this unfortunate situation is a contributing factor.

“Worse still, what says that a worker trekking long distances to get to work in the morning; arriving office, very tired, to start work, will return home and  not unconsciously vent his frustration on people around him or her?

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.