Eid-el-Fitr: Commercial drivers lament low turnout of passengers in Oyo


Several commercial drivers in Ibadan, Oyo State capital have been lamenting the low turnout of passengers before and during the Eid-el-Fitr celebration and holidays.

Visits by the News Agency of Nigeria to the central motor parks at Sango and Iwo Road and the Ojoo bus terminal showed drivers practically left with nothing to do.

This was because there was no increase recorded in inter-state commuting.

One of the commercial drivers, Musibao Alani, told NAN that there was nothing signifying any celebration or holiday, as there had been a low turnout of passengers.

“People are not travelling like before, and it is understandable because of the present economic situation.

“Everyone is managing the little resources available to them. So, travelling is not a top priority for many people,” Alani said.

The Chairman, Saki Motor Park, Michael Adelokun, said that despite the extension of the holidays by the Federal Government, most people seemed to have planned not to travel.

“Perhaps, this is affecting the usual surge to travel because people did not know that there would be a change and that an additional day would be added to the holidays,” he said.

Adelokun stated that there had been low patronage as passengers were not coming out en masse as was obtainable during the last holidays.

“People have not been coming out due to lack of money, even as we have not increased the cost of transportation.

”A bus ride to Saki still costs N3,000, and a car ride goes for N3,500, and that has been the price for a long time now, despite the harsh economy,” he said.

Adelokun, however, noted that the cost of petrol, vehicle maintenance, and servicing was affecting money realised from the transportation business.

“Due to the general low purchasing power of Nigerians, it is difficult to increase transport fares amid skyrocketing prices of goods and services,” he said.

Another driver at Iwo Road Motor Park, Aina Salawu, said the park had been quiet and devoid of the usual hustling and bustling.

He stated that the present economic situation called for a management of resources, adding that this had negatively impacted patronage in the motor parks.

Salawu lamented the effect on commercial drivers who stayed under the scorching sun, only to go home with little or nothing due to low patronage.

“We left the transport fares as they used to be so as not to burden passengers, as we all are struggling in this economy,” he said.

Also, a passenger, Ashiru Mukaila, said he had stayed for hours waiting for the car to Lagos to be filled up, pointing out that this was unusual.

Another passenger, Mrs. Bunmi Tomori, said that while she had to travel because the holidays would enable her to be with her family, the trip was taking too much out of her.

“There has been no significant increase in the transport fares, but only a few passengers are coming around, and this is taking too much of my time,” she said. NAN