Transportation on UI Campus: Battling Overcharging and Hostility from Drivers


Oyedokun Agnes Tioluwanimi

It is common knowledge that the taxis and tricycles, also known as Keke or NAPEP, play vital roles in transportation on the University of Ibadan campus.
The availability of these transport systems on campus, however, do not exist without occasional challenges. Some of these challenges are temporary, while others are permanent. One of such challenges is the skyrocketed fares that welcomed the students of the University as they resumed for the 2022/2023 session. As the semester is progressing, students seem to be adapting to this new change, as their grievances have died down to a great extent, or maybe it is just another case of “taking situations the way we see it, because there is really nothing we can do” which is peculiar to Nigerians.

A more recent complaint that has been rising amongst students is the inconsistency in fares charged for the same destinations by different drivers of the same commercial vehicles/transport types, compounded by their condescending attitude towards these students.

Students who have complained about encountering these significant disparities explained that they only realised they were being overcharged by different drivers of the same vehicle types when other drivers charged less for the same location. Mostly, students who are unfamiliar with the standardised fares are the ones who fall prey to this new trend among drivers. On the other hand, students who are aware of the price range (and others who are willing to negotiate) escape it.

Darasimi, a student of the English Department, and her coursemates, talk to AFAS Press about their experience with this dishonesty of drivers on campus.

“Some days ago, I and two of my coursemates boarded a NAPEP from Idia Hall to Bello Hall, the driver told us to pay 150 naira each. Fortunately, one of us was aware of the usual price from Idia to Bello, she refused and said we’d pay 100 naira each instead. The driver refused at first, but after a short while, he agreed to let us pay 100 naira each”, she said.

About the prevalent problem of these drivers being hostile to students, Oluwasayo, a resident of Queen Idia Hall, speaks of her experience, in addition to the issue of inconsistent prices.

“There were two of us boarding the Keke, I had 1000 naira and was going to pay for two of us. We were going to Bello and it was meant to be 100 naira per person, but he charged us 150 naira each. We agreed to the price because we had limited time. When we got to Bello, he got cranky and started talking to us in a harsh tone, asking us where he was expected to get ‘change’ at such an early hour of the morning. This made me feel very uncomfortable.”

This impatient and irritated attitude of drivers often manifests when students ask them questions or when they (the drivers) need to provide change. Some drivers yell at students and even go as far as threatening to “embarrass” them.

Also on this, Opeyemi Adeniji, a 300-level student of the Faculty of Renewable and Natural Resources, said, “The driver did not have ‘change’ that day and he was unnecessarily rude about it”.

This hostile attitude represents a lack of respect for (the rights of) paying customers on the part of the drivers. Proper customer relationship orientation must be prioritized for these drivers, so as to prevent animosity between them and members of the university community.

This issue, coupled with the inconsistent pricing, demands immediate attention, one that will protect even unsuspecting students/customers from being exploited and even harassed by drivers.

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