…cuts Lagos-Ibadan trip by 67 percent
The hike in diesel price has forced the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to reduce the number of trips on the Lagos-Ibadan Train Service by about 66.67 percent, even as the corporation has recommended higher prices for train rides.
News Diet learnt yesterday that the corporation had sent recommendations to the Federal Ministry of Transportation for an adjustment in the transport fare on the train service.
The Managing Director, NRC, Fidet Okhiria has said that although the service was still running, its trips had been reduced due to the persistent hike in diesel price.
Diesel prices have risen by over 300 percent in a few months, forcing transporters of petrol, who power their trucks with diesel, to threaten strike before the prompt intervention of the Federal Government.
The spike in diesel price also warranted some level of petrol scarcity in Abuja and neighbouring states, as many truck owners could not afford the high cost, a development that made the Federal Government to raise the bridging claims being paid to petrol transporters.
Speaking on the impact of the high cost of diesel in the rail sector, Okhiria admitted that the NRC had to cut down its trips, particularly on the Lagos-Ibadan route.
“The Lagos-Ibadan train service is running but we have reduced the number of trips on that route because of the diesel problem. We reduced the number of trips we are running because of the hike in diesel price,” he stated.
Meanwhile, he allayed fears of transport fare increase as a result of the hike in diesel price, stressing that such deciaion was beyond the powers of the corporation.
“We just can’t increase fares by ourselves. The government has to do that. We have made some recommendations. But even with the recommendations we made, the new price of diesel has overshot our workings as contained in the recommendations.”
“However, we don’t want to price ourselves out of market too, because the price of petrol is not increasing as such, rather the increase is little when compared to diesel price. And you know we are competing with transporters on roads. We are now doing two return trips as against six, which by now should have gone to 10. So we run just two trips now due diesel problem,” he said.
Analysts at Financial Derivatives Company in their latest economic bulletin in August 2022 stated that headline inflation in Nigeria was set to surge again to 19.7 percent due to the spike in diesel price, among other factors.
“The official headline inflation for July will be released on August 15. Our Lagos market survey and econometric model are indicating that there will be another surge of 1.1 per cent in headline inflation to 19.7 percent,” they stated.