EXTORTION BY COMMERCIAL DRIVERS AS AN UNDERRATED LOOPHOLE EATING DEEPLY INTO OUR ECONOMIC SYSTEM: THE NEED FOR PRICE REGULATION
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY DEACON UDOM EMMANUEL.
His Excellency, the ever working Governor of our dear state Akwa Ibom State, I sincerely appreciate you for the proactive measures taken to curb the spread of the covid 19 pandemic in our State.
I also want to appreciate you for easing the lockdown and giving us an opportunity to get back to our source of livelihood as well as re - opening the economic life of our dear state.
Thank you and may God continue to bless you with wisdom.
His Excellency, I wish to bring to your notice, the current increase in transportation price in Akwa Ibom State by our mini bus drivers which is indirectly affecting the price of every other Business in town.
In as much as, the State Government has ordered that mini buses reduce the number of their passengers to 2 persons on each row and 1 person in front, I would call on the Government to look into price regulation of our transport sector.
Mini Buses currently charge 100naira per passenger (to and fro Plaza) as against the previous 50naira charge, one may say it is due to the reduction of passengers.
Your Excellency Sir, analysis show that before the lockdown mini buses drivers were allowed to carry a total number of 7 passengers with a charge of 50naira per passenger which was a cumulative sum of three hundred and fifty naira(#350)
Upon the easing of the lockdown with the current charge, mini drivers are only allowed to carry 5 passengers with an increase in price which makes it 100naira per passenger and a cumulative 500 naira for the driver.
With this, we create a situation where the majority of citizens are on the losing end with the drivers gaining more in the process. This is at the very least an extortion which might seem little but as it is said, little drops make a mighty ocean. This little loses might generally affect the citizenry in a greater manner than anticipated.
It is also pertinent to note that there is no increase in fuel price neither is there any increase in ticket prices. Infact, by your magnanimity your Excellency, ticket charges have been put off on some days.
Why then would the commercial drivers not extend this goodwill to the ordinary citizen?
I therefore humbly call on the Governor and Commissioner of Transportation as well as other transportation agencies to step in and regulate transport prices as it is affecting the price of goods and services in town.
I would humbly suggest that the price be pegged mandatorily at Seventy naira (#70.00) Which returns the bus drivers to status quo as they would still make a cumulative sum of 350 naira from each journey as it was before the reduction of passengers to five.
This would be helpful to the citizens and the commercial drivers would not be at any loss.
In conclusion, His Excellency I call on you and the Honorable Commissioner for Transport to look into price regulation as this has a direct effect on the Price of goods and services within the State.
Price Regulation should not be underrated as extortion of citizens by commercial drivers is a loophole in which our economy might sink into as it might have a ripple effect on prices of other goods and services.
Thank you Exceedingly.
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