By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday sealed off the premises of some major commercial transport companies, at Jibowu, on Ikorodu Road as it begins enforcement of the relocation of inter-state buses from Jibowu to Ojota.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Olufemi Salami ordered the seal off with the approval of the Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Anofiu Elegushi.
Among the companies sealed were Chisco Transport, Ifex Express Limited, and GUO Transport. Other companies, including God Is Good (GIG) and Peace Mass Transport, were ordered to immediately stop operation of cargo services around Jibowu.
The seal-off, according to Elegushi, was a follow-up enforcement of a directive earlier this year, by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to all transporters operating around the Jibowu and the stretch of Ikorodu Road, to relocate their operations to Ojota, where the government had provided a land to accommodate them, now known as ‘Ojota Luxury Bus Station’.
According to him, the Ojota luxury bus station was being made ready by a concessionaire with whom government had entered into an agreement to build it, with modern facilities, provided, adding that all that the transporters were required to do was to comply with the government’s directive to relocate to the new station.
Anofiu, however, said that the transporters would be expected to pay the concessionaire, to use the new bus station, but that the amount to be paid would be negotiated.
Earlier at a news conference in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria after a meeting with stakeholders, Elegushi declared government’s readiness to enforce the Road Traffic Law, saying that the state government in its resolve to take the economy to higher heights with the goal of making it the third largest on the continent would not sit back and encourage the flagrant disobedience of the law of the state, especially where and when it had to do with the security and safety of the people.
“Businesses and investments can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace, tranquility and obedience of extant laws. Indeed, our driving style and habits eloquently portrays us to the average first time visitor to our climes,” he stated.
Elegushi said henceforth, all public transportation buses would operate under same law and regulations governing their operations in the state, saying that to this end, higher institution shuttle buses, cantonment shuttle buses would no longer be permitted to operate commercially on the state roads.
“They should restrict their operations to the campuses, base or cantonment for which they are licensed to operate shuttle services. Heads of the various higher institutions, cantonment and base commandants, and so on, will ensure all shuttle service buses approved for operation on their grounds are so restricted
“Commercial bus/taxi operators are to comply with laid-down regulations governing such operations. Such include, among others, registration of the vehicles with the relevant Department of the ministry and being painted in approved colours. Such vehicles must also comply with the regulations guiding their operations which include but not limited to obtaining driver and conductor’s badges and vehicle body tag for delineation of routes. This is what ensures that such vehicle is traceable in the event of any eventuality,” he added.
Elegushi also said all vehicles, motorcycle and tricycles, were to note the provisions of the 2012 law for compliance and that for the avoidance of doubt, bicycles, motorcycles and tricycles were prohibited from plying the roads listed in Schedule II of the Road Traffic Law.
“We wish to, however, call attention to Ikorodu, Lagos-Abeokuta and Iju Roads, and especially so, the BRT corridor. Violators, both the operator(s) and passenger(s) on being apprehended, will be subjected to the provisions of the extant law. Henceforth, the use of vehicles not painted in the state approved colours for commercial purpose is discouraged,” he said.