The leadership of Ugep youth association led by Comr. Ambrose Otu today met with Ugep motorcycle union over the planned hike in okada fare from N50 to N100 within Ugep urban, irrespective of distance.
The meeting between both unions which held at Ugep Youth Secretariat, Opp. Main Market Entrance Gate was graced by the Council Chairman, Hon. Ofem Obeten there represented by his Special Adviser on Youth and Sports, Mr. Ikoi Eteng.
Comr. David Asom who is the chairman of Ugep motorcycle union had told participants that the reason for the alleged hike was courtesy of the current increment in the purchase cost of bikes from N250,000 as at early last year to above N270,000 this year.
Asom had also gone ahead to say that beyond the increment in okada fares, other businesses around town had also increased prices of their commodities without anyone raising dust, wondering why the youths and other corporate societies had grown such interest in their [okada] fare hike without throwing an eye to other businesses in similar fashion.
These businesses in the increment fashion, MoonRayNews understands are pure water resellers who now sell a sachet of pure water for N20 as against the regular N10; cassava grinding operators who now grind a cassava bag for N200 as against the regular N100; barbers who also intend to begin cutting hairs at N300 as against the usual N200 and even motor and motorcycle spare parts that have all highed-up their costs.
At end of their deliberations, both unions came to a tentative resolution that the alleged increment should be put on hold and status quo ante be maintained. They agreed that okada drops should remain N50 within town distances and N100 for reasonable extreme distances. As for farm road lifts, they agreed that the fares should be on personal negotiations.
In his final submission, the okada union chairman promised to relay the temporal agreement to his subjects, even as he was begged not to proceed with the rumored protest/strike by the union and to also ensure that actual bike owners do not increase the pegged daily return of N1,200 for bikes given out on ‘daily balance returns’.
On his part, Comr. Ambrose Otu promised to visit cassava union, barbers union, spare parts union and pure water union with an aim to return prices and cost to normal, noting that the increment was not necessary, especially owing to the current reality of things.