Travellers, airport users groan as shuttle operators hike fares


Travellers and other airport users are currently going through hard times following the increase in transport fares by shuttle operators at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that fares were hiked from N100 to N150 for all destinations within the airport environment while a journey to Ikeja from the airport now cost N200 instead of N150.

A NAN Correspondent who monitored the situation on Tuesday observed that some persons were seen trekking to their destinations due to lack of commercial vehicles and the increment in fares.

Those mostly affected by the increment were cleaners and other low income earners working within the international airport and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) premises.

However, Mr Olalekan Agboola, General Secretary, Airport Cab Operators, told NAN that they had to increase fares due to the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.

“The increment is because of the fuel scarcity. We are praying that the situation presently should return to normal. When everything is okay the transport fare will also drop.

“We are begging the government that it should intervene because people are seriously suffering right now,’’ Agboola said.

A cab operator, Mr Sule Ibrahim, said he queued for several hours to buy 20 litres of fuel at N4,000 to enable him to work for the day.

He said: “We buy fuel at very expensive prices and until the scarcity ends, we don’t have any option than to increase transport fares.

“We are appealing to government to look into the situation. It is affecting us negatively because we are spending so much time at petrol stations’’.

Mrs Ada Imohinmi, a ticket officer at the MMIA, said the situation was becoming unbearable, especially for low income earners working at the airport.

“We are really suffering because of this fuel scarcity. I live at Agbado Ijaiye and now I have to leave home very early.

“The cost of transportation not only within the airport has gone up and yet, my salary is still the same. So, it is not easy to cope,’’ she added.

On his part, a traveller, Mr Uche Emenike, said he had no choice other than to pay any amount demanded by the cab operators in order not to miss his flight.

Emenike said: “From the local airport to the international wing, they charged me N2,000 instead of the usual N1,500 but I had to pay because I was a bit late for my flight’’.

Another traveller, Mr Michael Ajayi, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to find a lasting solution to the lingering fuel scarcity.

“I just flew in from Abuja and the fuel situation is the same. The government should work harder to fulfill the change promises to Nigerians,’’ he said.

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