The increment in transport fare of BRT and LAGBUS buses approved by the Lagos State Government and announced on Monday by the managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) Mr. Abiodun Dabiri attracts the outright condemnation of Lagos State council of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).
The Lagos state council feels pained that such bus fare increment which translates into hardship in all sphere of life could be undertaken at this critical point that there is economic hardship occasioned by failure of governance. We therefore insist that this fare hike is insensitive, wicked, ungodly and draconian, to say the least. The move further exposes the state government as being completely out of touch with the realities of the suffering of the masses of the state.
It will be recalled that the TUC, its counterpart, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the civil society bodies were forced to stage a protest rally last week because of the pains Nigerians are going through; unfortunately the state government appears indifferent of our plight.
It has become instructive to state that the BRT AND LAGBUS are monopolistic undertakings of some private individuals and moneybags; who contrary to fair practice are unduly allocated a section of the public road to the detriment of other people in transport business.
We submit that the business is viable at the prevailing fares due to the untenable principle of monopoly, as the single largest transport system at the heart of Lagos. And that approval of 20-50% fare hike as an error must be corrected through the withdrawal of the increment. The unilateral nature of the increment without due consultation with other stakeholders including the TUC to examine all the issues related to the increment is condemnable. Hence the Lagos State Council of TUC hereby calls on Governor Ambode to correct his mistake by withdrawing the approval immediately.
Comrade Francis Ogunremi
TUC Chairman, Lagos State