At least 90,000 commuter bus drivers and conductors have shunned Lagos State Government’s capturing of their data.
The government had issued a 60-day ultimatum for all commuter bus owners, drivers and conductors to register with the government or cease to operate as from 1 January, 2014, but the bus drivers and conductors have defied government’s order and have continued to carry on with their business as usual.
Across the metropolis, the bus drivers and their conductors have shunned the registration centres.
There is also no form of enforcement of the ultimatum as threatened by the Lagos State Government. The government had warned that that enforcement would begin as from 1 January, 2014.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, had vowed that any driver who failed to register would cease to operate in the state at the expiration of the ultimatum.
On Monday, State Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, led at least 100 members of the union to the Lagos State Drivers’ Institute, LASDRI, to register.
Chief Executive Officer, CEO, LASDRI, Mr. Ayodeji Oyedokun, said no bus driver or conductor had shown up at the institute to have their data captured since two months ago when the exercise kicked off.
He said the database at the institute was that of 70,000 professional drivers certified by the institute and that these included company drivers.
“They have not started coming for accreditation. We have only received 700 Keke Marwa operators that came here to register, but the bus drivers and their conductors have not shown up for accreditation yet,” he said.
According to him, those who come for accreditation and had not yet undergone one day training to be certified and accredited before they could operate their business in Lagos.
Agbede, who went to the institute yeaterday for accreditation with some of his men, said the union fully supported government’s move to accredit all the bus drivers and conductors, saying that he had directed all his members to embark on the exercise.
“For those who have not done the accreditation, it gives me serious concern. We are asking or extension to enable our members get accreditation because our population is too much and the time given is short.
“It is now by force and by fire for our members to come here for accreditation. We are appealing to the government to give us two months more to accredit our members. They will all be registered. It is because of low turnout of our members for this exercise, that is why we are here,” he explained.
He added that if the two months extension asked for was not enough, the union could easily ask for more time to ensure that their over 100,000 members were duly accredited and registered.