Mr Ladi Lawanson, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation

Mr. Ladi Lawanson, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, on Thursday said the state government would include the two major transport unions in its ongoing reforms of the sector.

Lawanson made the assertion in Lagos.

The commissioner said that the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the National Union for Road Transport Workers (NURTW) would be carried along in what the government was doing.

According to him, the Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode-led government prides itself in being an inclusive government from inception.

Lagos is undergoing change on a scale, perhaps unprecedented, in the history of Nigeria.

At the core of this change is the Bus Reform Initiative (BRI) introduced in early 2017, which seeks to formalize the transport sector and inject at least 5,000 new buses in the state in phases.

The inauguration of Ikeja Bus Terminal along with four other major terminals currently under construction in Agege, Ojota, Oshodi as well as Yaba, signals the dawn of a new era for the sector.

Lawanson said: “We have encouraged the two major unions in the sector, RTEAN and NURTW, to collapse themselves into one company and we are in discussions with them.

To operate at the level we have to operate in this new system, there is the need for a lot of capacity, financial, technical and training.

“We are encouraging and enabling them to ensure they have access to finance to play their own part in the next phase of the bus system we are embarking on.

“So, there is no plan or desire whatsoever to exclude those who have been operating the public transportation system we have been accustomed to until now.

“We are in discussion with them,” the commissioner said.

Lawanson disclosed that by October/November, phase one of the new bus project, which is the Ikeja hub, would start.

According to him, the state has the fastest growing population in the country; so the government is working on an intermodal system which will balance all means of transportation system.

He said the state had received delivery of over 300 new buses as part of its BRI scheme, adding that the 800 buses, which the state was expecting, had been fully paid for.

The commissioner said that the buses were fully equipped with air conditioning system, free WiFi and a free charging point for mobile phones and laptops.