National Assembly has directed the Federal Ministry of Transportation to check the arbitrary hike on transportation fares, especially during festive periods.

A statement signed by Eric Ojiekwe, Director of Press to the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, who made this known during a meeting with stakeholders in the road transport sub-sector in Abuja, said the meeting was at the instance of the House of Representatives, following deliberations on the arbitrary increase in transport fares during festive periods, particularly for land transport.

The minister represented by the Director, Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Udu-Ejembi Mary, said amongst other outcomes, the meeting is expected to take an in-depth look at the reasons for the fare hike which causes pains and affects the economy adversely.

According to Udu-Ejembi, the lawmakers were concerned that well-meaning Nigerians are already viewing the situation as a gross exhibition of greed and monumental corruption on the part of transporters who capitalize on high commuter traffic to exploit the people.

In his remarks, the National President, Driving School Association of Nigeria, DSAN, Jide Owatunmise, disclosed that the “recovery factor” is one of the elements responsible for the hike in fares during festive periods as road operators see festive periods as an opportunity to recover lost grounds during off-festive seasons.

On his part, the Deputy National Secretary-General, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, Comrade Henry Ugwu, said double taxation from bodies and establishments like the state government, local government authority, and even vigilantes are among the causative forces driving up prices during festive periods.

At the end of the deliberation, stakeholders called on the federal government to prioritize road construction and maintenance to reduce the damage to vehicles.

They equally called on the government to reduce park duties while also enacting traffic laws backed up with technology.

Furthermore, they also advised that the activities of unions be monitored and regulated to reduce the hardship on passengers.

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