The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority on Sunday reaffirmed that the travel cowry card remains the only acceptable means of payment for all state-owned transport systems.

The Managing Director of LAMATA, Mr Kolawole Ojelabi, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

This is following complaints by commuters that some mini shuttle buses insist on collecting cash instead of allowing them to tap in with their cowry cards.

Ojelabi said feedback was crucial for the government to understand loopholes in the service it provided.

“When you see a thing like that, just snap the bus and send it to me, the only way for us to know is to have information and we call the drivers in and we’ll deal with them.

“The whole essence of putting the monitor there is for you to use your cowry card. Those people collecting money are cutting corners. So, please send us the numbers of the buses.

“Also, about passengers having to tap in another BRT bus because the tap device of the bus to their destination is not working is something I consider strange. This is our number, 09099526282,we need this feedbacks,” he said.

Some residents shared their experiences in separate interviews with NAN.

A businesswoman, Mrs Busayo Bolarinwa, said the practice was common among some minibus drivers who plied Costain, Shitta and Lawanson.

“I top up my cowry card monthly to serve me for the month, so, it’s always annoying when some drivers ask for cash.

“In some cases, the driver will insist you tap in from another bus and then come back to enter the bus, so, I believe that some of their tap-in devices are faulty which should be fixed,” she said.

Similarly, a sales representative,  Mr Dozie Anayo, said: “I was heading to Ikeja under the bridge to get to Egbeda, it was late that day and I couldn’t get a direct bus to Egbeda. I was surprised when the driver said we should pay in cash.

“I know there was no way that money I paid got to the state government. So, imagine if I didn’t have any cash on me. My friend said he had experienced the same too on minibuses.”

A cleric, Mr Idris Olabisi, said most mini shuttle buses usually did this late in the evening.

“I think once it’s late in the evening they believe they have worked for the government during the day and evening delivery was theirs.

“My experience was at the bus terminal at Marina. I boarded Eko Hotel shuttle minibus from there, I brought out my card but I was told to pay in cash,” he said.