The Cross River Government has appealed to commuter drivers in the state, under the aegis of the Unified Commercial Drivers Association (UCDA), to shelve their planned hike in fares.
The appeal is contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the Commissioner for Transport and Marine Services, Mr Uqua Edet, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.
Edet stated that the attention of his ministry was drawn to a document in circulation, purporting an increase in transport fares within Calabar metropolis, with effect from Nov. 22.
He stated that as a ministry in charge of public transportation, it was appealing to transport operators in the state to keep to the current fare of N50 per drop.
“I have just finished discussing with the Chairman of UCDA and we have agreed that the implementation of the hike should be suspended.
“We will meet with all the stakeholders involved to discuss and come up with a common position on the matter.
“Commuters are also advised not to pay above the prescribed fare as agreed by all stakeholders until a common position is reached on the matter,” Edet stated.
Earlier, the Public Relations Officer of UCDA, Mr James Odu, had told NAN that the fare hike became necessary because of the steady rise in the price of goods and services in the state.
According to Odu, since 2010, the price of every item in the market has continued to go up, except the transportat fare.
“Since 2010, drivers have been conveying passengers for N50 per drop to date but they can no longer bear it.
“We go to the same market to buy things to survive and to maintain our vehicles like other people.
“We cannot continue like this because the price of fuel, oil, spare parts and other things has increased in the market.
“I think the governor is supposed to call us and give us award for delaying this increase until now,” he said. (NAN)