In Enugu Tricycle riders bemoan high cost of maintenance

The union’s secretary in Enugu said that due to the economic recession, the cost of spare parts had doubled.

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Bajaj tricycle

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`Ugboezeji’ Tricycle Union in Abakpa, Enugu, said on Tuesday that the rising cost of maintenance of their vehicles was driving many members out of business.

The union’s secretary, Mr Innocent Onyemaobi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu due to the economic recession, the cost of spare parts had doubled, making it tougher for some to continue in business.

“In the past, tricycle engine block was N7,000 and crankshaft N6,000; but now, they are N15,000 and N14,000 respectively."

“Those riding on hire purchase hardly make it, as the price of tricycle has skyrocketed to N700,000 from between N400,000 and N450,000."

“When we talk of the cost of fueling the tricycle, you can see that the business can only serve your daily feeding and not take care of your family.’’

Onyemaobi commended the Enugu East Local Government Council for being upright in their dealings with the union.

“We are not having issues of double payment for toll ticket which is N150 daily.”

Nevertheless, he urged the government to assist tricycle operators by making more tricycles available on hire purchase through poverty alleviation schemes.

“The cost of buying tricycles from individuals can be too high, but buying from the government should make it more affordable."

“These days, the high cost of maintenance, fueling and other things make it difficult for operators to accept hire purchase from individuals.’’

On the conduct of the members, he said the union had instituted laws and enforcers to ensure compliance.

“Offences like fighting and expensive jokes attract N5,000 fine each and this is subject to being found guilty of the offence after undergoing trial before the executives of the union."

“To ensure orderliness in the business, we queue up on a first come basis. Once you jump the queue, you can be suspended, especially if you did it to purposefully cause trouble."

“The work of the task force is to maintain orderliness and to enforce the law on any member who fails to respect it,’’ he said.

The secretary said that in spite of the recession, the union had retained the fare at N40 and N200 per drop respectively due to the high passenger flow.