Commercial Bus Operators Get Final Ultimatum
The Lagos State Government has issued a final ultimatum to recalcitrant commercial bus drivers and conductors to register their business with the government with effect from 1 July, 2014.
The government said the deadline for registration for all commercial bus drivers and conductors is 30 June as enforcement would begin in earnest from the first day of July, directing that any commercial vehicle not registered after the deadline be impounded.
Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, lamented at a news conference that commuter bus operators have been told to document their business since November, 2013 but many of them did not comply despite series of extension granted to enable them register their business for free.
The commissioner disclosed that out of the estimated 80,000 commuter passenger vehicles and drivers in the state, only 24,257 vehicles and 28,902 drivers had registered with the government, while 7,637 taxi operators had also complied.
Opeifa said in spite of the extension granted, the government was unimpressed and disappointed with the low level of compliance which had slowed down the needed reform in the public transport sector which is intended to create jobs, wealth for existing operators and enhanced sustainability to improve service delivery.
“The state government is committed and ready to implement this policy to the letter having waited for another six months to ensure strict compliance. The full enforcement must commence immediately as transport unions with their documentation had made us believe that there are only 24,257 vehicles, 28,902 drivers, 591 conductors and 7,637 taxis in the state.
“To this end, with effect from 1 July, 2014, only the registered drivers and conductors on our database are permitted to operate commercial passenger vehicles in the state and all others found on our road ways will be apprehended.
“All law enforcement agents, such as the Vehicle Inspection Service,VIS, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, the police and the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, have been directed to ensure strict compliance with the law. While the documentation exercise is supposed to be at a cost to the operators, we have for the last eight months provided the services free of charge,” he stated.
Opeifa added that with effect from 1 July, operators who were yet to be documented would do so at the stipulated cost of N20,000 for the commercial vehicle owners, leaving N5,000 for drivers and N2,000 for conductors accreditation.
“In addition, apprehended offenders will be fined the minimum of N20,000 as stipulated in the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012. I implore those who have complied with the documentation to feel free to go about their normal business activities at the commencement of the full enforcement,” he said.