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New transport policy: FCTA fails on its promise to provide more buses

By on June 15, 2013

Two weeks after the FCT administration banned mini buses from operating within the Abuja city centre, it is yet to make good its promise to provide adequate number of high capacity buses, News Agency of Nigeria has reported.

Many commuters were seen on Thursday waiting for buses at the designated bus stops.

Residents of Mararaba, Kubwa, Gwagwalada and other satellite towns and suburbs of Abuja have been the most affected since the policy took effect on June 3.

Some of the residents, expressed displeasure at the ban on mini buses, describing it as anti-masses.

Julius Ugochukwu, a civil servant living in Mararaba, in Nasarawa State, said: “it is a battle getting to the office every day since the ban took effect.”

Ugochukwu said the number of mini buses plying Masaka in Nasarawa State to Nyanya in the FCT had reduced drastically since the ban took effect, forcing passengers to pay more in order to get to work at the city centre.

He said: “Before the ban, we were paying N100 from Mararaba to Berger Junction at the city centre, but since the introduction of the policy, we now pay N180 in addition to the stress in connecting a high capacity bus from Nyanya to the city centre.”

Bukola Oyewole, who lives in Lugbe, a suburb, said she now spends more time waiting at the bus stop to catch a bus to the city centre than before.

Oyewole said: “The high capacity buses plying our axis are few. I do spend one hour or more waiting for the only one going to town.”

“The policy has turned me to a habitual late comer and my boss now calls me late comer.”

“Not that the policy is not good, but the FCT administration should increase the number of buses and chase out operators of rickety taxis in the suburbs.”

Malam Abdullai Sule, a resident of Kubwa, however, commended the FCTA for introducing the new policy, “as I now pay N100 from Kubwa to my office at the Federal Secretariat as against N150.”

Sule said the high capacity buses were more convenient, reliable and the drivers are more careful.

Jonathan Ivoke, the Secretary, Transport Secretariat of the FCDA, said the first batch of 323 high capacity buses were released on June 3 and that more would be released soon.

Ivoke said the Masaka-Nyanya Road was the only route experiencing delay in the sale of tickets and promised that the administration would employ more people.

He said: “The high capacity buses released are currently plying all the routes assigned to them.”

“It is only in Nyanya that the buses are slow in meeting up with the arrival time.”

NAN recalls that the new transport policy was introduced by the FCTA administration to promote the evolution of a new driving culture and attitudinal change in motorists.

It is also aimed at creating employment opportunities for professional drivers and in ensuring the free movement of goods and services within the FCT.

One Comment

  1. j4p

    June 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Surprised at this new government adventure into business. The policy of government is to leave economic activities to private initiatives. Has the policy changed? The FCTA is never good at running anything. Look at the refuse disposal, look at markets, look at street lighting, look at water supply.
    Policy summersaults send conflicting signals to the business community. Better leave transportation to the private sector and concentrate on regulating them. If you don’t know what to do, visit some world cities and borrow a leaf from them. Some of them may even help with staff and training.