Some Lagos residents on Wednesday said they had been faced with a hike in the cost of transportation, with the gradual easing of the lockdown in the state.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria that the urgent need to return to their businesses, however, left them no choice but to board the vehicles, regardless of the hike.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had announced gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja from Monday, after it had lasted for five weeks.
The lockdown was declared as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Mr Yemi Olagunju, a real estate agent, said though he was relieved that the lockdown had been relaxed, as it meant making little money to make ends meet, the hike in cost of transportation was a challenge.
“The lockdown was killing because there was no money to buy food and other necessities.
“Since the relaxation began on Monday, I have been going to my office and people have been coming out, even though the business is not thriving like before.
“The only challenge now is that transportation fare is very high. I stay around Ijanikin and it is now N400 to my office instead of N200-N250,” he said.
Mr Adeyemi Adeniran, a manager at a filling station on LASU Road, expressed his displeasure at the increase in the price of transportation in spite of the reduction in the price of fuel from N145 to N125.
“I went out yesterday and paid N100 for a trip of N50. When I asked the driver the reason for the hike, he said it was due to the situation,” he said.
Mr Shina Giwa, a tricycle operator, who plies the Ipaja-Ayobo route, attributed the hike to the new guidelines by the Lagos State Government which allowed only two passengers on board.
“It is not our fault that the price has increased. If we continue taking the usual price, we will be at a loss.
“A trip of N50 with four passengers will give us N200, but now we are allowed to take only two passengers, so we charge them N100 and at the end of the day, we still have our N200,” he explained.
One of them, Oluwaseye Olabode, commended business owners who had been complying with health guidelines with regards to social distancing, hand washing, use of face masks and sanitizers.
She recounted her experience at a pharmacy where customers had to wash their hands and wear face masks before being allowed into the store.
Similarly, Miss Adenike Olawale, a fabric wholesaler said, “when I opened my shop on Monday, I cleaned all the surfaces and ensured my customers wear their face masks before attending to them.”
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)