Drivers lament rising levies, union officials’ harassment

Some commercial drivers in Ogun and Lagos states have lamented the alleged increase in the daily levies they pay through the purchase of tickets in various motor parks across the states.

Investigations  at Mowe Motor Park in Ogun State as well as Berger, Ketu and Ojota Motor Parks in Lagos State on Thursday revealed that commercial drivers were made to pay for series of tickets with varying costs ranging from N100 to N500.

Some of the tickets sighted by our correspondents bore different inscriptions in terms of those issuing them and the purpose for which they were issued.

Some of them include those of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria, State Park and Garage Cleaners Commercial Bus Ticket, National Union of Road Transport Workers, Lagos State Consolidated Daily Ticket and others like loading tickets, booking tickets and marker tickets among others.

It was learnt that union officials saddled with the responsibility of enforcing payment adopted different crude methods of enforcement.

A driver, Oluwaseun Akinbamire, lamented his recent ordeal in the hands of the union officials in an interview.

He said, “Some months back when I was going to Lagos, I didn’t wait at the motor park. One of the ticket collectors ran after me and removed my bus seat.

“He asked me to pay N1, 000, just because I didn’t pick up passengers from their park. He beat me up, but since there is nothing I can do, I left the seat for them and got another one.

“I have left the house since 5am and I had gone on two trips this morning, all the money with me is not up  to N1,000.”

Another motorist at Mowe Park who identified himself by his nickname, Ajelo Jebo, also lamented the expenses being incurred daily and the harassment from the union officials.

“We buy fuel of N5,000 for each of our trips. We pay the conductors. We buy engine oil and repair our bus, and if we refuse to pay the ticket collectors, they will be removing our seats, break our glasses and also fight us. How much will the driver gain at the end of the day?” he lamented.

It was gathered from motorists at bus stations at Berger, Ketu and Ojota that although the union reduced the ticket fees by 25 per cent due to the increase in fuel price, they were still finding it hard to operate.

A female motorist who simply gave her name as Iya Segun, said, “As soon as Agberos see you, they bring the ticket; at times we go home with N5,000 which is not supposed to be so. The money I realised yesterday was what I used to fuel my vehicle today. It’s too much.”

A union official at the Ketu Motor Park, Lagos, Ketu, Olatunbosun Adeleke, said, “Our leaders came and said we should find something to do and bring down the ticket prices, then the tickets issued by Lagos State as well as our dues have been reduced.

“We spoke with the drivers to collect N500 and it is not even profitable, but then there’s nothing we can do. We also have to help the people too as humans that we all are.”

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