By Timileyin Omilana
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved the increase the fare of the government owned bus service Lagos Bus Services Limited by about 46 per cent.
In a statement by the Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, at the Lagos Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMATA), Kolawole Ojelabi, the increase will take effect from August 1.
The governor also approved LBSL’s request to increase the number of passengers per bus from 20 to 42. The government had earlier reduced the number of passengers per trip due to the coronavirus pandemic to enable social distance.
Ojelabi stated that the approval was in line with a bus fare review plea by the bus operating company in the state.
The LBSL had earlier argued that conveying not more than 20 passengers per trip had resulted in only 14% utilisation of the buses, leading to 72% drop in revenue, while the running costs remained fairly the same.
This decision may be tough on Lagosians in view of the economic hardship caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
Already, Nigeria’s annual inflation rate had risen for the ninth consecutive months to 12.4 percent in May from 12.34 percent in April representing the highest inflation rate in 25 months since April 2018.
The annual inflation rate represents the rate of increase in prices of goods and services.
The inflation rate has been on the rising trend, from 11 percent in September last year, initially driven by the effect of the border closure, but now compounded by the effect of the COVID-19 induced restrictions across the country.
The NBS in its May 2020 CPI report said: “The consumer price index, CPI, which measures inflation, increased by 12.40 percent, year-on-year, YoY, in May 2020. This is 0.06 percent points higher than the rate recorded in April 2020 (12.34) percent