Panic on Wednesday gripped commercial drivers in Abeokuta, Ogun State, ahead of Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s inauguration of 77 buses under the Bus Mass Transit.
Commercial drivers in Kuto, Pansheke, Ita-Osin, Asero and Adatan feared that the BMT would negatively affect their business.
According to them, the new buses will drastically reduce their daily earnings.
A commercial driver plying Abeokuta-Ijebu Ode route at Kuto Garrage, Adebanjo Lamidi, told our correspondent that the government buses would make it impossible for him to raise his daily delivery of N5,000.
“The Amosun BMT will destroy our business and our livelihood. I don’t know how I will deliver N5000 to the owner everyday if these buses start operation,” he said.
Mufutau Alani, a commercial taxi driver plying Asero-Camp route, complained that the BMT would render many drivers in the state jobless.
“I don’t how many of us will be able to cater for our families with these buses around. My five children and I depend on my daily earnings from this taxi that I drive,”Alani said.
Officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers and Road transport Employers Association of Nigeria, who did not want to be identified, also told our correspondent that the BMT would not stand the test of time.
They predicted that the project would fail because the long buses were not designed for the kind of roads in the state.
The officials argued that the government should have allocated the buses to the unions which has the capacity to run and maintain them.
One of them said, “I don’t know why they are dabbling in an area where they know nothing about. They should have followed the in footsteps of the past governments which allocated such buses to the unions, which paid for them under some kind of hire purchase arrangement.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Adeoluwa Taiwo, in a statement on Wednesday, said the 77 buses to be inaugurated by Governor Amosun on Thursday (today) would include 27 Luxury Ashok Leyland buses each of which has the capacity to carry 43 passengers.