By – Opeyemi Joseph
The Road Transport Employee Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, Kwara State chapter has appealed to the Federal Government to reduce the price of petroleum as it affects not just commuters but also their members.
The General Chairman Transport Employee In Ero-Omo, Offa garage, Ilorin, Alhaji Abdulrazak Ajala made the appeal while speaking with RoyalTimes, noting that it is really difficult for the transporters to fend for themselves and family.
“We have a lot of challenges on the issue if subsidy removal of the petroleum product. Initially we are already appealing to the federal government either to reduce the price of the petroleum because since the increase of the product, we have had a lot of challenges in the business. For example, before the subsidy removal, we normally have passengers in the park, but now, we find it difficult because three vehicles cannot be moving at times in our park to Lokoja and Okene, talk less of the other states.”
“So we appeal to the Federal government because we are transporters we are finding it difficult to feed our families, no passenger based on the increase of the fuel subsidy removal and transportation fare. Before, we used to carry an Okene seven thousand naira, but now we have increased it to over ten thousand naira but no passenger”
Ajala who appreciated the state government for its contribution towards the construction of good roads in the State, also called for continuous repair of dilapidated roads in the state.
“And then look at our road, although we appreciate the effort if the state government, it repaired our roads, but we are still appealing to the state government to appeal the federal government. At times, from Ilorin to Okene now, Drivers spends seven hours on the due to the bad road system in the country. So we are appealing to the Federal Government to consider us and repair the road”.
Ajala added that on the part of the association, it will continue to consider the masses and maintain the prices of transportation to ease the people from the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
“What we normally do is that we already considered the welfare of our people, because the fuel money now, is too costly, so many people already park their own vehicles because they cannot afford it. So we reduce the price of the transport fare, for example, look at the town now, transportation with the town is now three hundred naira, if we want to increase it, it should have been four hundred naira per drop, but now, we don’t do that, we don’t want people to suffer”.
He also thanked the leadership and members of the association for the continued peace experienced in the State from the transportation Sector, while urging the residents of the State to hope for the best as the Government at all levels endeavour to make life worth living in for the people.
“We appreciate the effort of the state government for the recent palliatives to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal on our members, but we appeal to them to do more for our people. For example now, we look at other state governments like Borno State, we see on the television what they did, so if our government can do the same thing for us, purchasing vehicles for us and giving us as a loan, we will appreciate it.”
“Although our state chairman is doing a lot of things to approach the Excellency, Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak to assist us, either by giving us Loans so that it will assist our business. Also, when we have problems with our sister union, security agents, our state chairman assists us in appealing to the federal government or concerned parties, in fact we really appreciate their effort, our zonal chairman in the state, that is in person of Alhaji Simon Ayoku and our State Chairman, Alhaji Olayinka Onikijipa, we appreciate them, anytime we have a problem they are ready to assist us in many ways”.