As Nigerians prepare to celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day, traffic of intending travellers at some Lagos inter-state parks was noticeably low yesterday.
When the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) visited some parks across Lagos, transporters complained of the low patronage.
Some attributed the development to the security situation in the country, insufficient circulation of petrol and the economy, among others.
General Manager, Operation, Ekeson, in Jibowu, Lagos, Mr. Ndubisi Madu, lamented low passenger traffic during this festive season unlike in previous years.
Madu said before now, they engaged in uncountable trips during the Christmas season, but this year was worrisome.
“From our station at Alaba and Jibowu, we have been loading two luxurious buses, which is not constant. “In previous years, from December 15th, you would see people moving because there is something in their pocket.
“Insecurity in other parts of the country also affected our patronage, the patronage has not been consistent, ” Madu said.
A driver, Mr. Sharafa Ashubiaro, at Peace Transport at Ojota, complained of constant traffic along the eastern part of the country.
“We face a lot of traffic from Benin to Onitsha, Auchi, Asaba, we spend hours in traffic along Benin bypass, Asaba bypass.
“We hardly bring back passengers from the eastern part of the country to Lagos and we will fuel the bus to and fro.
“Both passenger and driver suffer while travelling as a result of constant traffic.”
Another driver with Royal Mass Transit, Mr Friday Dominic, said from Lagos to Enugu and Ebonyi, they charged N20,000 while they also encountered bad roads on the route.
“We’ve just loaded two buses and two Sienna while we had loaded seven buses and five Sienna vehicles between 15th and 31st of December 2021.
“If we leave Lagos by 7am we can get to Ebonyi by 10.00 p.m or 11.00 p.m. The road is bad from Shagamu to Ijebu-Ode.
“However, from Benin to Onitsha, the road is better, from Onitsha to Enugu they don’t even have good roads at all while the road is okay from Enugu to Ebonyi state,” Dominic said.
A traveller, Mr. Monday Akpan, said he paid N22,000 for a bus to Calabar and paid N9,000 for luggage.
Another, Mrs. Anita Monday, said they paid N20, 000 to Ebonyi and she had to send her three children with her sister back home because she could not afford the price.
“I would have joined my children back home but we have an important family function that I must attend, that is why I managed to raise that money,” Monday said.
Another traveller, Mr. Kamaldeen Esio, who was going to Akwa-Ibom to celebrate the Christmas holidays with her family, said the fare was too expensive.
Esio said he had paid more than N30,000 for transport and his luggage.
A traveller at Ojota park, Mrs. Blessing Samuel, said she wanted to go to Port-Harcourt with her two kids but could not afford it due to the hike in price.
Samuel said that she had budgeted N35,000 for the fare but on getting to the park, what she met was beyond her reach.