Yuletide: Kaduna travellers reduce by 50% —NUTRW

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The leadership of the Kaduna State branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) says travellers in the state have reduced by over 50 per cent as the yuletide approaches.

Malam Bature Suleiian, Secretary of NURTW in the state, disclosed this on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.

Suleiman said the development was due to the high cost of transportation fares, which was occasioned by the increase in fuel pump prices.

“People no longer travel but only prefer to send messages to their loved ones.

“Sadly, if you go to our motor parks now, you will see a lot of vehicles waiting without passengers.

“People don’t have money to travel until it becomes necessary; they prefer to waybill messages,” Suleiman noted.

He said commercial motorists were running at a loss due to the poor economic situation of the country, adding, “Besides the increase in fuel prices, we have a lot of bad roads, and a lot of policies taken in the transportation sector are not favourable.”

The official lamented alleged multiple taxations mated on members of the union, describing the situation as very bad.

He said, “There are lots of revenues attached to transportation, as the government now seems to have its focus on the sector.

“Currently, there is an increment so much that what the driver would get at the end of the day is nothing to write home about.

“Drivers would just be doing the work without any gain from it.

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“Now, trailer drivers under the Single Haulage Fee (SHF) are expected to pay N25,000; six to eight vehicles are expected to pay N15,000; while smaller vehicles are expected to pay N1,500 at the time of loading and unloading.

“There is also the Harmonised sticker pegged at N7,000 as against N3,500 in the previous year.”

Suleiman urged the government to consider the plight of drivers and revert to the old levies to enable them to cope with the economic challenges faced by everyone.

He, however, said incidences of road crashes had reduced by 40 per cent in 2023, a development he attributed to the improvement of road maintenance in the state.

“Kaduna to Zaria-Kano road is now without portholes; Kaduna to Abuja is also witnessing improvement.

“Other repairs within the metropolis, like the command junction to Abuja junction are underway,” he said.

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