BY OYE AGUNBIADE
Residents of Ondo state on Monday 1st March were filled with joy over the news of the suspension of the activities of NURTW /RTEAN based on the hike of ticket sold to drivers by their leaders which also led to increase in transport fare from 50 naira to 100 naira.
Some of them Mr Oyedele Davog and Ayeni Adeolu who spoke with Radio Nigeria thanked Governor Akeredolu for coming to their rescue in the midst of a biting economic hardship
Speaking on the economic effect of the suspension, an Economist, Mr Temitope Awoso explained that it was a grievous offence for the driver’s unions not to be paying into government coffers.
Mr Awoso was of the opinion that the proposed selling of tickets to drivers by ondo state government would immensely add up to its IGR.
However, while some drivers described the suspension especially the cut in transport fare as a welcome development, others disagreed, appealing for a collective reasoning on the part of govt and passengers as cost of motor maintenance had risen.
One of them who threw weight behind the suspension, Mr Mukaila Jenwo said government task force will make the business more easy for drivers.
On his part, Mr Taiwo Johnson who said taxi charge cannot be static at 50 naira hinged his position on the fact that inflation has affected fuel and motor material while longer distance cannot remain at 50 naira.
Efforts to speak with leaders of the affected unions were unsuccessful as they could not be reached on their mobile lines.
In the meantime, the Ondo state government has set up a 3 man committee to wade into the transport union issues.
The senior special adviser to the governor on special duties and strategy, Dr Doyin Adebowale who is also the secretary to the committee explained that govt did not ban the unions but only suspended them noting that the committee would interface with the unions for two weeks to resolve the issues
As the people expects the outcome of the committee, Radio Nigeria gathered that the govt task force alongside some members of the union are back on streets issuing tickets at govt rate of 300 naira as against the 700 naira earlier fixed by the unions while taxis now pick short distances at 50 naira and longer ones at 100 naira.