16 January 2013

Nigeria: NLC Wants FCTA to Provide Adequate Buses Before Ban

Photo: Vanguard
Abuja commercial buses

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, to provide adequate buses in the territory's satellite towns before banning mini buses.

This is contained in a statement signed by its National President, Mr Omar Abdulwaheed, in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement noted that "until adequate buses are made available to commuters in the satellite towns of the FCT, the ban on mini buses from plying some routes in Abuja should be reversed".

It stated that workers might lose their jobs if they were unable to report to work on schedule, while the mini bus drivers and their assistants would lose their means of livelihood and might find it difficult to survive.

"The NLC is disturbed by the disruption of public transportation in the Federal Capital Territory since Monday, leading to loss of man-hour at several workplaces and truncation of the means of livelihood of several artisans and bus drivers in the FCT.

"The sudden ban on the operation of mini buses for transportation of commuters into the city centre of Abuja has affected the movement of workers and artisans, whose workplaces are located in the main city.

"This is because over 90 per cent of those who work in the FCT live in the suburbs, called satellite towns, which are far from the city centre where their workplaces are located," it stated.

The statement stressed the need for the Federal Capital Development Authority's (FCTA) Transport Secretariat to provide adequate number of the new high capacity buses it planned to introduce before banning the mini buses from the city centre.

It urged the FCDA to "always get the people involved before implementing policies that directly affect their lives.

"What is needed urgently is the provision of more commercial buses and not a ban on existing ones from plying some routes."

Meanwhile, Mr Jonathan Ivoke , the Secretary, FCT Transportation Secretariat, said that the mini buses had not been banned completely from plying from satellite towns to the city centre.

He, however, said that the restriction was an effort by the FCTA to implement the Abuja Master Plan on Transportation and to study the traffic management in the FCT.

Ivoke said: "the high capacity buses are to ply major areas in the FCT, while mini buses can ply anywhere in the area councils and other areas designated for them to ply."

The mini buses could ply Mombassa-Michael Okpara-Olusegun Obasanjo-Moshood Abiola Area 1 route.

He said that the mini buses could also go from Area 1 to Gudu, Apo Mechanic Village as well as from Jabi to Mbora, Kaura and Gudu Market.

The mini buses could also ply Jabi to Mbora, Sun City to Apo Mechanic Village and from Gwarinpa to Life Camp first gate.

They could also ply from Bwari town to Dutse Alhaji and the expressway and from Kubwa second gate to Gado Nasko Road and to Kubwa first gate, from Mpape to Murtala Mohammed Expressway Junction.

However, the mini buses were not allowed to ply the Wuse Market to Eagle Square, Asokoro , AYA and Nyanya route.

The high capacity buses were now to ply the Area 3 Junction to Tafawa Balewa, Herbert Macaulay Way, Berger Junction to Jabi, and from Gudu Market to Apo Quarters to Ahmadu Bello Way and the Federal Secretariat and Gwarinpa route.

The new high capacity buses were also to ply the AYA to Shehu Shagari Road to the Federal Secretariat down to the Transcorp and Nicon Junction.

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