… Public Transporters Hike T-fare
By Joe Ebi
The directive given by the Edo State government some days back that all markets in the state should be shut down and consequently relocated to a nearby primary school was implemented on Wednesday, April 7.
The state government had on Monday, April 6 ordered the shut down and relocation of major markets in the state.
Deputy Governor of the state, Philp Shaibu, while briefing newsmen on the said date, said the closure and reloaction of the markets was to enable the government fumigate them in order to curtail the spread of the novel Coronavirus in the state.
He noted that after the markets must have been successfully fumigated, they would be open for full operations and that businesses would return to normalcy.
Meanwhile, INFO DAILY’s visit to one of the markets, Evbuotubu market, our reporter observed empty and deserted market while some women were seen in their 3, 4, discussing the new development.
Security personnel were also seen patrolling the market area with their hillux van to make sure people adhere to the directive.
A market woman spoke in pidgin with INFO DAILY but does not want her name mentioned in print, said there are other pressing issues government ought to attend to for market women rather than shutting down markets and reloacting them.
According to her, at Evbuotubu market, they pay N400 revenue to the government everyday, stressing that this ought not to be.
While lamenting that all roads that link Evbuotubu have been a death trap for years, she called on the government to quickly rehabilitate these roads so has to make life easier for residents of the area.
Another women who spoke but does not want her name mentioned as well, said the government would have device another means of achieving it purpose rather than ordering marketers to relocate.
“This Evbuotubu market is for every four four days (sic). The government would have ask us to leave immediately after the regular market and fumigate it within the four days so that we can come for the regular market.
“Also, the ticket (sic) we are paying everyday is too much. We pay N400 to the government everyday when all what some people make in a day is not even much”, she noted.
At Oliha market, the story was not different as the ever busy market was empty and deserted. Both regular and mobile policemen were seen standing at strategic locations apparently to enforce the government’s directive.
Meanwhile, visit to the popular Oba market, Oredo local government area, Benin shows the narrative was the same.
As at when INFO DAILY was there, market men and women had been relocated while fumigation of the market and its environs had already commenced.
In another development, public transporters have increased transport fare within Benin metropolis.
Investigation by INFO DAILY revealed that, in adherence to government’s directive of 2 persons in a roll and I person at the front, some drivers have increased their their charges by 100% while some increased theirs by 50%.
INFO DAILY gathered this at Evbuotubu market to ring road and other places visited today.
Recall, when government gave the directive of 2 persons in a roll, it was said the move was to maintain the social distancing precaution, warning that, this does not give motorists go ahead to hike their charges.
Kelly Okogbowa, Vice Chairman, Edo State Taskforce Technical Committee on COVID-19, while giving the directive on behalf of the state government on Friday April 3rd said, “You are are to load two passengers at the back seat, two passengers at the middle seat and one passenger at the front seat. If you load more than this requirement, you will be arrested and be prosecuted accordingly.
“The state government wants to curb the spread of Coronavirus so this is how it will be for now.
“You are not paying for ticket, that has been suspended. Fuel price has drop, so you are not expected to increase your price. You have no reason to inflate transport fare because what could have led you to do so had been addressed by the government. And so, you are expected to charge the old price.”