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Inside LASU: SU President Reduces Shuttle Fee Amid Controversy

The 31st Lagos State University Student Union, under the leadership of Badmus Uthman also known as Badecious, has declared the reduction in the transport fee of the LASUSU shuttle from Fifty Naira to Thirty Naira. The reduction was made known in a circular published by the Student Union on the 4th of September 2021.

Earlier, the Student Union President assured Lasuites at his inauguration on 11th of August that the union has arrived at an agreement with the Association of Shuttle Drivers to reverse the shuttle fee to its initial Thirty Naira. Seven days after his inauguration, the SU President revealed, in a telephone interview with Campus Reporter, that the committee that would effect the change has not been appointed by the house yet.

He said: “The house hasn’t [sat] yet and secondly, the Shuttle Association has already written an appeal letter stating some reasons why they want to maintain the 50 Naira price. They said they used to buy engine oil for 3500 Naira before and now they are buying for 7500 Naira. A litre of petrol, which is supposed to be 145 Naira is now 165 Naira. They have to ensure that their buses are in good conditions and they are also affected by the general economic hardship.” 

He also noted that “The shuttle association attached a letter that was written to the previous SU administration stating that they want to increase and maintain the increased shuttle fee.” Badecious, however, reiterated in the interview that the appeal is under discussion and that the general LASU population would have a resolution from him by Friday 20th of August 2021.

The Vice President of the Lagos State University Student Union, Rabiu Misturat Damilola, has confirmed that the union held its first business sitting on Thursday, the 2nd of September where the Transport Committee, amongst other committees, was appointed and 2 days after, the shuttle transport fee was reversed to 30 Naira. 

When asked about the circular and what informed the decision to reverse the shuttle fee, the Head of the Transport Committee, Yahya Opeyemi, in a telephone interview with Campus Reporter, said: “I saw the circular too but I have not met with the president yet. The committee has not made any findings or report to the president, I’m just going to resume office on Monday.”

He further explained: “If the price reversal is going to take place, it would affect the number of passengers, it has to be seven passengers but first I’ve to meet the president.” When asked if the price reversal was made with the COVID-19 precaution guidelines in mind, Yahya said: “ I don’t know because it was the president that made that decision on his own. I am going to have a meeting with the president so that we can reach a conclusion on the price. It may and it may not, it might and it might not.”

Campus Reporter confirmed that the price reduction has taken effect today as shuttle drivers charged 30 Naira only to all drops within LASU. 

However, the Shuttle Association Chairman, Mr Olalede Alao has expressed displeasure over the price reduction, He said: “The price reduction doesn’t go down well with us because we would be running losses considering the current economic situation of the country, we are just doing it so as not to cause any rancour on campus, most especially when the president has said so and we need to respect his office”  

“The genesis of the price increase was the COVID-19 pandemic, we agreed with the previous administration that we would cut down our passenger capacity from seven to five, to maintain social distancing and we would charge Fifty Naira per head, in between that time and today, there has been an increase in fuel price and every other thing that we use to maintain our vehicles which are known to every Nigeria, that’s why we wrote another letter to the previous administration to maintain the Fifty Naira price.”  

Mr Oladele further explained that “The agreement between our union and the current student union is to increase our passenger capacity back to seven and charge Thirty Naira per head which boils down to Two Hundred and Ten Naira as against Two Hundred and Fifty Naira that we get when we charged Fifty Naira. Some of us still go about borrowing money to maintain our vehicles when we were charging Fifty Naira, If there is an option, most of us would opt out because we are running losses but for now, there is nowhere to go.”

As at the time of filing this report, all efforts to reach out to the Student Union President for further comments proved abortive as he denied this reporter interview and switched off his phone.

 

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