We’re not part of 50% transport fares slash, says Lagos Transport operators

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By Kazeem Akande and Uchediunor Augusta

Lagos – Some transport operators in Lagos State on Thursday said they were not part of the arrangement with the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to reduce transport fares during the Feb. 23 elections.

The operators, including including Primero Transport Services Limited, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA),  spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

According to them, instead, what we agreed on is to make our services available during the elections in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the electoral body.

NAN reports that NURTW had on Feb. 20 announced a 50 per cent reduction in transport fares on all routes for passengers that would be travelling for the elections.

Commenting, Mr Oluwadamilola Emanuel, the Managing Director, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), said that there was no slash in the fares of both boats and ferry services.

“This is a private business owned by individuals; we are only regulating their operations to maintain the laid down standard.

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“But, we will ensure there are availability of boats to convey people on election duties to their various locations during the elections,’’ he said.

Also,  Mr Role Odukale, the Chairman, Bus Rapid Transport Association of Nigeria (BTAN),  said that the association was not involved in the fare slash for the elections.

“We don’t want to be partisan, but the plan is on to make our services available to those on election duty,’’  Odukale added.

Commenting, Mr Fola Tinubu, the Managing Director, Primero Transport Services Limited, Operators of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), told NAN that the organisation was not involved in the 50 per cent slash of fares for passengers.

“We are non-partisan and we will not be involved in such exercise.

“We will continue to provide a world class services for Lagos residents,’’ he said.

Also, Mr Jerry Oche, Lagos Railway District Manager (RDM), said that  there would be no slash in its fare for passengers travelling by train during elections.

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Oche said that the corporation has no such plan of reducing fares during the elections.

“There is no plan by the corporation to slash the price of the train, but we will give effective service to those that will need our services,’’ he said.

According to him, the corporation has cancelled the Lagos-Kano trips as the Federal Government had declared Friday as public holiday.

In a related development, the Lagos State Council of NURTW, said that the 50 per cent reduction in transport fare for passengers travelling outside the state for elections was part of its social responsibility.

Its State Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, said the union  members plying inter-state routes have been directed to implement the 50 per cent discount to travellers.

“Our members have been directed, especially those plying inter-state routes, to give a 50 per cent discount to those travelling out of Lagos for the elections,” he said at end of the union’s State Executives Meeting.

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The NURTW chairman said the directive was to cushion the effect of last weekend postponement.

He said it would encourage people to travel to their various destinations where they were registered to exercise their franchise.

“To enjoy the 50 per cent discount, a prospective traveller is expected to show his/her Permanent Voter Card (PVC) to the driver before he/she would be allowed to enjoy the discount.

“This is the directive from the national headquarters of our union.

“It will be carried out in all inter-state parks in the country which is part of our contribution to the electoral process,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Arik Air has also reduced its flight fare to N16, 000 to ensure that eligible voters travelled to cast their votes. (NAN)

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