Reactions have trailed the announcement by the Lagos State Government to discontinue the 50 per cent discount on public transportation facilities in the state to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
Vox9ja reports that the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) had, in a statement, announced its decision to stop the 50 per cent subsidy on transportation in the state.
In the statement made available on the official X handle of LAMATA, the state government detailed that the transport subsidy will be discontinued from Sunday, November 5, 2023.
“The 50% rebate in transport fare in the regulated transport system in Lagos ends on Sunday,” a statement by LAMATA partly read.
The organisation further detailed that “a new off-peak price will be introduced to give those travelling outside the early morning peak a form of a rebate on the BRT and Blue Line train.”
The latest development, however, did not sit well with citizens of the state, who described the move as insensitive amid the current economic hardship in the country.
Condemning the state government for its decision, X user identified as Oyetola O.R., wrote: “This is insensitive to the current situation going on in the country and the state. @jidesanwoolu, @officialABAT. The only way the majority actually benefit from the government’s palliatives. Kindly reconsider this decision it is anti-people and is very consequential.”
On his part, @Buraimoh Hameed A wrote: “This should have come after we might have been refining crude oil locally. This is completely bad timing, and the govt will receive serious backlash from the citizens.”
On his part, Ebunola Shedrack, who was also of the opinion that the decision was ill-timed, said Nigerians were still suffering the tension of fuel subsidy removal.
“I don’t think this should come out at this time, Nigerians are still suffering the fuel matter, Lagos state government, ease the tension a bit, but rebating the price is not going to do any good, rather I see more harm in advance,” he wrote.
Another X user Eze Andy wondered why the state government would remove the rebate when petrol was still selling for over N600 per litre.
“What do we expect? The Supreme Court has given you people the go-ahead to finish Nigerians. How can you remove the rebate when petrol still sells at #650 and diesel sells at N1,300 per litre, and you’re happy to announce to us that the rebate has ended? God will you all,” Andy wrote.
Also expressing his displeasure with the latest development, Esumeh Collins said the decision of the state would make transportation outrageously expensive.
“So they expect Lagosians plying that route to pay 750 from Marina to Mile2, it’s outrageously expensive,” he wrote.
“This is embarrassing. There has been a form of subsidy in the UK transport sector since February this year due to inflation and it is still on till now. Nigeria government don’t care about the people,” @GodfreyAig39212 wrote.
“You all are making us regret why there was never a change of political system in the last Election. It would have been better if another party came up with this heartless & inhuman decision than the system we had trust in. Do all you can, your days are numbered,” @triquintesautos wrote.
Also reacting to the development, @olathoongee suggested that the increase will cause a decline in patronage of the government-controlled public transport system.
“Do this and watch how low your patronage declines,” the user wrote.