The enforcement of restriction of operations of mini buses to feeder routes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will resume today.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the FCT administration, through the transportation secretariat, at a meeting with stakeholders in the sector yesterday, said there would be no going back on the policy, even as it promised to look into issues raised by some of the stakeholders at the meeting.
Commercial transport drivers in the FCT, under the aegis of Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association (SECDA), said they are not against the policy, but have given the government certain conditions to meet before the resumed implementation of the enforcement, which the government was yet to meet as at yesterday.
A source in the association who confided in LEADERSHIP, said, "we are not against the policy but we want to be carried along. We were only licensed for mini bus service and what we are telling the administration is that we want license for high capacity buses and taxis so that our people can key into the policy and those who cannot afford high capacity buses can go into taxi business."
The source said SECDA was also agitating for more routes for its members to operate, saying the routes they had been restricted to were not enough, if they must survive in the business.
Recall that the FCT administration on January 14 commenced implementation of a policy banning mini bus operators from plying major highways in the city.
The Secretary, FCT Transportation secretariat said the move was in a bid to implement the transport master plan of the territory.
But the administration had suspended the policy three days after it took off, following the public outcry that greeted it.
FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, while briefing journalists, admitted that the administration had erred with the implementation of the policy as it had not done enough sensitisation before the enforcement.
"We made a mistake and we admit we made a mistake because we did not sensitise people that this kind of thing will be happening. So we have decided to suspend it for three weeks to make sure everybody understands what we are doing," he explained.
The minister however debunked insinuations that the administration had not procured enough buses to drive the policy, saying the administration has over 700 buses but could not risk bringing them out on the roads for fear of vandalisation by aggrieved mini bus operators.