Mr Governor This Burden Is One Too Many

As i pondered on the concomitant effects of the recent directive from the Lagos state government to review upwards the fares of the BRT (a mass transportation moving well over 500,000 commuters within the boisterous city of Lagos daily),i found my self hooked on the historical lesson taught by Noah Webster, that "the causes which destroyed the ancient republic were numerous but in Rome , one principal cause was the vast inequality in fortunes". No one starts life with dreams of becoming poor or simply earning a minimum wage, it is socioeconomic and political extingencies, instigated more often by failure of government to raise the proverbial head of its citizens above water, that has left so many behind.

I believe that the conscience of any government should be measured by how it treats the most vulnerable in the society, how it seeks to lighten their burdens and more importantly the opportunity it creates for them to support their social mobility. No one really should go to bed hungry, no one should be deprived of a decent education and i know this sounds idealistic, but the most progressive Nations are those in constant pursuit of certain ideals that are in tandem with their highest aspirations. Make no mistake about it, if the poor man is unable to sleep at night because of hunger, the rich would have no choice but to sleep with an eye open, uncertain about what the hungry man could do.

The government has argued that operational over heads and economic realities has necessitated the increase in fares of 50%, which should take effect by the first of March. Remember that in Lagos, the lower your income the farther you live from the major business hubs live Victoria Island and Ikeja as the prices of property in those environ are certainly above your pay grade. Hence, these people rely on BRT buses as a cheap and convenient mode of transportation, of which an increase in fare will automatically bore larger holes in their pockets.

The unflattering rise in the prices of goods and services in my opinion will be further exercebated by this increase in fares as most commuters who are traders and small business owners will pass the cost on to the end customer. So rather than feed this vicious cycle of inflation i urge the government to step in and negotiate better avenues to place a lid on the fares.

In any case what really does the poor man get from the government? Governors get huge retirement benefits, representatives are serviced with taxes paid by the sweat of the poor, the rich are constantly subsidized while the poor overly ignored without any social safety net. If all he enjoys is a cheap and convenient transportation, it would be unfair to take that away from him too.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has shown his desire to move Lagos forward, a desire he has matched with commensurate action as demonstrated in amount of infrastructural development and interventional programs commissioned under his watch. No doubt he means business, but on this issue i disagree with Mr Governor and urge that he reconsiders his stands and save the wallets of the masses.

Eko oni baje

Ayodele Adio

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