The Hope

The National Union of Road Transport Workers, Enugu State chapter, on Friday appealed to the Federal Government to expedite work on the South East roads currently undergoing reconstruction.

Collins Nebo, the Secretary of the Union, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu.

He said that good road networks would reduce transportation fares across the country.

Nebo said: “Our federal highways are dilapidated.

“The Federal Government has begun to fix them to ensure smooth transportation, and the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway is one of them.”

On the hike in interstate transportation fare, Nebo said that majority of the commercial vehicles plying the route were privately owned.

He said: “Majority of the buses branded as ENTRACO, TRACAS and others are owned by individuals but registered to operate under the company.’’

He appealed to the government to help reduce the prices of vehicle spare parts in order for transporters to reduce transportation fare.

Also, the Manager of IPAC Mass Transit Limited, Chris Uche, said that the pump price of fuel per litre mostly determined the interstate transportation fare.

Uche said: “Our buses use diesel and a litre sells for N220 per litre.

“So, each passenger is charged N2,000 for a trip from Enugu to Port Harcourt for a14-seater bus, and N2,200 per passenger for an 11-seater bus.

“Also, it is N2,500 as fare per passenger for an eight-seater bus.”

Nebo said that in last December, the fare went up slightly for his members to meet up with other demands.

According to him, the state of some of the nation’s roads is nothing to write home about.

Also, Udochukwu Nnamani, a driver of one of the buses owned by IPAC Mass Transit Ltd., described the journey from Enugu to other states as a nightmare due to the bad state of the roads.

Nnamani said: “Good roads, reduction in pump prices of fuel and in the cost of spare parts will force down the transportation fare.”

James Agbede, a driver with the Royal Mass Transit Limited in Enugu, said that commuters paid N4,000 as transport fare per head from Enugu to Abuja and it went up to N6,000 during the Christmas celebration.

Agbede said: “We buy a litre of fuel for N180 instead of government approved rate of N145 per litre.”

He added that the state of our roads was not encouraging.

Agbede said that the government should maintain the roads, regulate prices of fuel and make the product available at all times and at filling stations.

A cleric, Daniel Udemezue who boarded a Peace Mass Transit bus at its Enugu Park said that he paid N2,500 for a journey from Enugu to Port Harcourt.

He said the fare charged was on the high side.

Umzue said: “Looking at factors such as fuel scarcity and poor state of roads, the transporters are not to be blamed.

“We hope that government will come in and do something to better the lives of the citizens.’’

Udemezue said that the problem of Nigeria was corruption that is why they would be selling a litre of petrol between N180 and N185 per litre in a country that produces fuel.

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