Extortion: Commercial drivers boycott Lagos-Badagry Expressway

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no commercial bus was seen on the road, while passengers were stranded at various bus stops.

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Some commercial bus drivers along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, on Saturday, refused to ply the route, alleging extortion and constant manhandling by louts.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no commercial bus was seen on the road, while passengers were stranded at various bus stops.

Meanwhile, commercial motorcycles had a field day conveying passengers at rather high costs.

The commercial bus drivers had embarked on a “cease commuter operation” along the Lagos-Badagry axis up to the Mile 2 area of the state, following what they termed an unbearable increment in their ticket fees. Some commercial bus drivers, who spoke to NAN, said they would not return to work along the axis unless the government intervened to address an outrageous hike in ticket fees by transport unions in Lagos.

The drivers said unions under the aegis of National Union of Road Transport Workers and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria were responsible for regulating the affairs of commercial buses in the axis.

They added that members of the unions were allegedly extorting bus drivers by collecting exorbitant ticket fees, as well as allegedly brutalising drivers who failed to cooperate with them. According to them, the unions increased the price of their ticket from N500 to N800 without warning notice.

They described the situation as unbearable, especially considering the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had left a majority of bus drivers at a loss.

A commercial bus driver, Mr Kehinde Solomon, said the ticket fees collected by thugs had become outrageous.

According to him, drivers pay different exorbitant amounts of money at each bus stop, while the thugs collect the fees by coercion and without empathy.

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