Inter-state bus owners and operators have appealed to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to order the release of vehicles impounded last month by the agents of the Lagos State Government following the ban on the location of terminals on the popular Ikrorodu Road/Jibowu corridor by transporters.

At a crucial general meeting of a coalition of bus transport associations  in Lagos recently, participants bemoaned the heavy toll the closure of private terminals in Jibowu, and subsequent seizure of more than 16 buses, have taken on their businesses.

Consisting of Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON),  Association of Mass Transit Operators of Nigeria (AMTO) and Association Benin Transport owners (ABTO), the coalition at the meeting held at King Celia Hotels & Suite, Jibowu, lamented that many efforts made to get the authorities in Lagos to release the vehicles, had so far failed.

The forum also chastised inter-state commercial transporters whose vehicles operate recklessly in Jibowu by admitting and discharging passengers in a manner that impedes the free flow of traffic, thereby giving their law-abiding colleagues a bad name.

In a communiqué, the associations resolved to seek further dialogue during which the transporters said they would in addition to appealing for a reversal of the restriction order placed at all private bus stations, assure the government of their willingness to take measures that would engender sanity and unhindered vehicular movement in the area.

Signed by the ALBON President and coalition steering committee Chairman, Prince Chukwuemeka Mamah; AMTO Chairman, Chief Greg Inyaba; and Isaac Uhunmwagho, an engineer, for ABTO, the communiqué said: “Bus operators at Jibowu neither subscribe to, nor support member-companies loading their buses and discharging their passengers along the major highway. Therefore, we promise to organise and maintain free-flow of traffic in our respective areas of operation.”

It also read, “The business of the associations’ members are collapsing as they can no longer meet up their financial obligations to their banks as the loans they took from the financial institutions were based on projected daily revenue returns from the closed bus stations.”

Last week’s crucial meeting came about three months after the associations came together at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, in June, with a resolution to reach out to other inter-state bus owners/operators towards the fusion of the various parties into a stronger umbrella-body for the pursuit of common goals.

The Jibowu forum also resolved that the current steering committee of the coalition should be expanded with the addition of five members to bring the number to 10, even as they were charged with the responsibility of working out a transitional framework for the emerging association, drafting its constitution, setting its goals and objectives, as well as seeing to its registration.

No fewer than four names were suggested and adopted by participants, out of which one would eventually be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Among transporters who attended the meeting are the Managing Director of ABC Transport, Mr. Frank Nneji, who is also a member of the steering committee; the Managing Director of the Chisco Group, Dr. Chidi Anyaegbu; Alban Igwe, Esq. Deputy National President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT); and a Transportation consultant, Dr. Tajudeen Bawa-Allah.

One of the highpoints of the meeting was the display and presentation of vehicles by Kojo Motors which now markets the Yutong range of mass transit buses, as well as BAW Nigeria {a sister company to Transit Support Services and ABC Transport}. Introducing the BAW mini buses, Mr. Stanley Mbanu disclosed that the formal roll-out of the vehicles at the assembly plant in Enugu, would hold next month.

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