The anticipation of festive cheer has been overshadowed by a stark decline in travel as Kaduna State braces for the Yuletide season.
The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NUTRW) leadership has revealed that travellers have diminished by more than half, attributing the downturn to soaring transportation costs fueled by the recent surge in fuel prices.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday, Malam Bature Suleiman, the Secretary of the state’s NUTRW, highlighted the plight facing travellers and commercial motorists.
Suleiman emphasized that the exorbitant transportation fares had compelled individuals to send messages to their loved ones instead of embarking on physical journeys.
“The noticeable decline in travellers is alarming. Motor parks are witnessing an unusual sight of numerous vehicles idling without passengers,” Suleiman said.
He said the dire economic situation, exacerbated by escalating fuel prices and inadequate road infrastructure, has severely impacted the commercial transport sector.
Suleiman lamented the unfavourable policies and alleged multiple taxes imposed on union members, decrying the adverse effects on their earnings.
“Drivers are operating at a loss. The current situation leaves them with minimal gains, if any, at the end of the day. The added burden of escalating taxes further exacerbates their financial woes,” Suleiman stated.
Moreover, the NUTRW official highlighted the burden of additional revenues imposed on the transportation sector, indicating a dire need for reevaluation to ensure sustainability.