Inter-state Transporters Lament Poor State of Roads, Threaten Fare Hike

The Association of Private Transport Companies of Nigeria (APTCON) is considering increasing inter states transport fares to reflect the reality of the current sorry state of Nigerian roads across the country.
The association said fares may go up soon by as much as 70 percent to cushion the impact of prevailing serious economic challenges and poor infrastructure on their operations.
The transporters stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting organised in Lagos by the Association of Private Transport Companies of Nigeria (APTCON).
They lamented that the high costs of maintaining their fleets and poor state of roads in the country, among other challenges, have increased the overall cost of doing business, threatening their ability to stay afloat.
The transporter resolved that “as a means of survival, to increase transport fares by 70 percent, beginning from the end of the third quarter of 2016, if no immediate help or support comes from government and its agencies”.
Stakeholders at the meeting included the Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, National Association of Road Transport Owners, God Is Good Motors (GIGM), Chisco Transport, Libra Motors, Cross Country, Eagle Transport, GUO Transport, Ekeson, EFEX Executive, First Tarzan Motors and Ecobus.
Others were Jetvan Automobiles, Toyota Nigeria ltd, Goddy Edosa Motors, Fairplus International, Greener Line, Harmony Transport, TRACAS, Okeyson Motors and Ohomba Line, as well as Access and Wema Banks, among others.
A communiqué released at the end of the meeting, noted that road transportation remains the most visible and effective means of moving people and goods in the country, even as it drew attention to the fact that the sector has over the years suffered severe neglect with poor attention paid by successive governments to development of appropriate infrastructure.
The communiqué lamented that being in the throes of economic recession, road transport operators have seen their little margins completely wiped away by inflation, rising cost of funds, double taxation, unstable value of the Naira as well as unnecessary harassments and extortion by security operatives.
“The prostrate state of the automotive industry has made importation of passenger buses not only prohibitive but unsustainable”, the document added, saying: “In the face of poor return-on-investment, the road transport business is in danger of imminent collapse with attendant job losses and damaging impact on the economy”.
While mulling the fare increase, participants resolved to sensitise government and its agencies on the continued relevance and strategic importance of the road transport sector to the overall well-being of the economy.
The forum also set up a committee to harmonise membership and mobilise all operators for the execution of tasks to be undertaken, including the need to press for urgent rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructure hindering efficient delivery of service and value to the Nigerian public
APTCON is also seeking Federal Government’s immediate intervention by way of a bailout to cushion the harsh business climate and return the industry to sustainability.
The stakeholders resolved to “seek import reliefs, where necessary, for its members as a short-term measure for fleet replenishment while the automotive industry receives government attention”.

Author: News Editor

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