Some residents of Lugbe in Abuja have lamented the increment in the cost of transportation, following the relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown.
DAILY POST gathered that taxi drivers increased the cost of transportation from the Lugbe axis to Berger.
Prior to the lockdown, Lugbe to Berger cost between 100 to 150 but following the rule on physical distancing, the price increased to N200.
When sources sought reasons for the increment, a taxi driver said transporters now carry fewer passengers, hence the increment in price.
The taxi driver said transporters have to adhere to the guideline issued by the government which mandates that only four persons be carried in a vehicle.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, had directed that vehicles should only carry four passengers including the driver.
However, the taxi driver who wished to remain anonymous said despite carrying fewer passengers, transporters still need to make their money, hence they increased the fare.
“Government reduced the number of passengers we carry so we have to increase the fare so we can make up for the reduction, ” he said.
Speaking with DAILY POST, a commuter in the taxi decried the increment in fares.
“We are just coming out of lockdown for about a month without doing anything, now they are increasing the cost of transportation, this is unfair, ” she said.
Another commuter in the same vehicle said:-
“Government needs to look into this because they started it. These taxi drivers want to make their money but we the masses are the ones at the receiving end.
“This is a serious issue, after staying at home for a month without doing anything to get money now we are confronted with this, the government should look into this.”
The Lugbe-Berger route, however, experienced low turnout of taxis with lots of commuters looking for public transportation to convey them to their various destinations.
It was noticed that these commuters in their large numbers didn’t observe the social distancing as directed by the Federal Government.
Despite not adhering to the social distancing directive, most of the commuters were seen wearing face masks as they discussed their experience of staying at home for about one month.
Compliance with the transportation guideline issued by FCTA was strictly being enforced by a combined team of security operatives.
The enforcement team mounted a security check close to Galadimawa bridge where they ensured that vehicles had just four passengers and were all wearing their face masks and guidelines issued with respect to transportation.
The security checks led to a serious gridlock because those flouting the directives were forced to park their vehicles by the roadside and were detained.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered a gradual relaxation of the lockdown initially imposed on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States.
Buhari had imposed the lockdown about four weeks ago in a bid to tackle the spread of COVID-19.