The leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) says travellers in Kaduna have reduced by over 50 per cent as the yuletide approaches.
NURTW secretary in Kaduna, Bature Suleiman, disclosed this on Friday in an interview.
“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,” Mr Suleiman said.
He said commercial motorists were running at a loss due to the country’s poor economic situation.
“Besides the increase in fuel price, we have a lot of bad roads, and a lot of policies taken on the transportation sector are not favourable,” said the union’s secretary.
The NURTW official added, “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 in it. Now, trailer drivers under the Single Haulage Fee (SHF) are expected to pay N25,000, six to eight there vehicles 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.”
Mr 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 everyone faces.
He said, however, cases of road crashes had reduced by 40 per cent in 2023, a development he attributed to the improvement of road maintenance in Kaduna.
“Kaduna to Zaria-Kano road is now without portholes, Kaduna to Abuja also is witnessing improvement. Other repairs within the metropolis, like the command junction to Abuja junction, are underway,” he said.