#BounceExclusive: Why You May Not Travel Home This Christmas
Nigeria’s fuel marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC are still trading blame on what caused the ongoing fuel scarcity.
The government, on the other hand, is busy issuing ultimatums to the oil minister Ibe kachikwu to end the scarcity and Kachikwu is busy making empty promises.
In the meantime, those who have the commodity are smiling to the bank, hiking the price to between 170 to 200-naira per litre.
But it appears the biggest gainers are intercity transporters who are cashing in on the confusion as demands for their services surge 5 days to Christmas.
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Bounce News monitoring of transport operators in Lagos showed that intercity transport fares from Lagos to Southeast, Southwest and even Northern parts of the country have doubled, some fares rising above 200%.
For instance, from Okota Road terminal of GUO Transport in Lagos to Enugu/Abakaliki/Ogoja (Cross River) is now 9,000 naira per passenger.
The 643 kilometer journey costs between 5,500 and 5,600 naira in October. It could rise higher for trips scheduled for 20th and 21st of December.
Also from the same terminal, a trip from Lagos to Umunze (Anambra), Onitsha, Umuahia and Aba cost 8,550 naira per passenger.
Those who book online get a marginal discount to pay 8,075 naira.
The 462 kilometre, seven and a half hour journey cost between 4,500 and 5,000 naira with the same transporter in November.
One would have thought that the situation could be different for destinations outside the South where travel demand will not be as high.
But alas! There is slight change.
Transportation fare from Lagos to Abuja has risen from 6,750 in the beginning of the third quarter of this year to 10,000 naira for trips scheduled for 20th of December.
A ticketing agent at GUO Okota told Bounce News that the hike in fares is a combination of factors – from fuel scarcity to surge in demand.
The story isn’t any different at God Is Good Motors, GIGM, another popular transporter, especially among millennials.
Fares have hit the roof as well. You will pay about 8,750 naira for trips between Yaba, Lagos to Enugu.
Before now, the fare was between 4,770 and 5,000 naira.
And passengers travelling to Owerri from GIGM bus terminal at Yaba, Lagos will now have to cough out 11,500 naira for trips scheduled for 21st of December.
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The trip cost a regular 4,950 naira before now.
More so, passengers travelling from Yaba, Lagos to Asaba/Onitsah will now have to pay 10,500 naira against the previous 4,500 naira.
In the same vein, Port Harcourt passengers who paid about 4,000 naira in May would have to cough up more than three times that sum as the fare has risen to 12,500 naira.
It also appears that the company has diverted most of its buses to serve the South-eastern market as schedules indicated there were no buses for Jos route or even Akwa Ibom.
*GIGM bus terminal at Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos
But it did have a scheduled trip for Kaduna. Passengers heading to the destination would now have to pay between 17,500 and 17,900 naira.
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By May this year, transport fare to Kaduna by GIGM was between 4,200 and 6,000 naira.
However, Bounce News investigation also showed that there were transporters who have yet to raise their fares beyond reasonable levels such as Royal Mass Transit which operates from Ebute-Metta area of Lagos.
Transport from the terminal to Enugu-Abakaliki has hovered between 4,500 and 6,000 naira between 11th of December and for trips scheduled for 20th.
But a ticketing agent at the terminal also warned that the fare could hit 10,000 naira before Christmas day.
More so, a diligent search for more affordable options could lead one to transporters such as Chisco which Luxurious buses.
For instance, Chisco is charging 4,000 naira from its Ikotun terminal in Lagos to Owerri and about 6,500 naira from Lagos to Abuja.
But there is a caveat. You may have to travel at night!
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