Luxury bus owners have announced an increase of N1,000 on their fares across various routes, citing the rising running and maintenance costs as reasons for their action.

This is coming after the Association of Private Transport Companies of Nigeria has announced its plans to increase fares by about 70 per cent in order to stay in business. This, they said after a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, was due to the economic challenges and poor infrastructure.

The Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria said in its statement that it resorted to the fare review as a painful survival measure.

It said the combined effects of dilapidated roads, rising costs of maintaining the vehicles and high prices of new buses would drive the business to the brink unless the government of President Muhammad Buhari urgently intervened in the matter.

By the new fare regime, ALBON said passengers on the Lagos-Abuja route would henceforth pay N7,000 (up from N6,000), while those on the Lagos-Kano that paid N6,500 previously would pay N7,500; similarly, the fare on the Lagos to Port Harcourt trip that was hitherto N5,200, would be N6,200.

The statement issued in Lagos by the President, ALBON, Chief Dan Okemuo, particularly cited the pump price of diesel currently N200 as against the previous N145 per litre; a drum of lube oil that was N95,000, but went up to N147,000; and the price of petrol (that members’ mini-buses use) which is now N145 from N87 per litre as reasons for the fare hike.

“Equally, the price of a single tyre (for our big bus) is now N144,000 as against the previous price of N85,000. As you are already aware, these sharp increases in prices are due to the current economic recession, which in turn has affected price levels in the country.”

Okemuo, who owns a fleet of buses,  said it was “a notorious fact that some major federal roads are in terribly poor conditions”, lamenting that the situation had imposed a heavy maintenance burden on the transporters due to  increased wear and tear on their vehicles.

Although he said that major repair work had been carried out on a few sections of some roads such as the Ore-Benin Expressway, the association pointed out that numerous others remained in frightening conditions.

It listed some of the affected roads as Omotosho-Ijebu-Ode within Ondo and Ogun states on the Sagamu-Benin Expressway; and Ubiaja-Uromi road leading to Abuja; Oyibo road, connecting Aba-Port-Harcourt road; as well as Ikot Ekpene-Itu-Udukpani road, connecting Uyo and Calabar.

Other roads in deplorable state, according to the association, are Ikwuano-Ikot-Ekpene, connecting Abia and Akwa Ibom states; Enugu- Onitsha expressway; the Benin section of Asaba-Benin highway; Ilorin-Mokwa-Minna-Abuja; and Enugu-Port-Harcourt.