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Lagos commercial drivers get Monday deadline to register

By on July 6, 2014

Commercial vehicle drivers operating under the aegis of the National Union of Road Transport Workers have up until Monday to comply with the state government’s directive to get accreditation for their business.

As part of its efforts at improving the transportation and security situation in the state, the state government had directed all vehicle owners, drivers and conductors to register at designated vehicle inspection offices.

It threatened to impound the vehicle of any commercial driver or bus conductor that failed to do the accreditation by July 1, 2014.

The state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, last Friday said out of about 80,000 commercial passenger vehicles and drivers in the state, only 24,257 vehicles; 28,902 drivers; and 7,637 taxis had documented their business with the government since the directive was issued in November, 2013, adding that many of them had not complied despite a series of extensions granted them.

The exercise requires all commercial bus owners to visit any of the 21 zonal offices of the Vehicle Inspection Service nearest to them for accreditation and documentation, while drivers and conductors are to visit any of the five Drivers’ Institute Centres in the state to obtain the Lagos Commercial Passenger Vehicle Driver’s and Conductor’s badge after completing the mandatory training.

But worried by the low response to the registration exercise, the state Chairman of the NURTW, Mr. Tajudeen Agbede, on Thursday directed all branch chairmen not to allow drivers who failed to comply with the directive to pick or drop passengers at their motor parks as from next Monday.

A statement by the union quoted Agbde as saying that he was giving the directive having realised that some members were not just willing to comply.

“We wasted a lot of time appealing to people to comply, but I think the best way to ensure a total compliance with the exercise is to introduce force; hence, the decision to introduce ‘No registration, no loading’ policy at our garages. As a driver myself, I know the best way to handle my members.”

The NURTW boss also hinted that he would be visiting the parks as from Monday to know the level of compliance.

According to him, there are benefits to be derived from the exercise, adding that the accreditation will earn drivers a lot of dignity and respect.

“It will also protect drivers from exploitation and improve their earning power as well as the union’s activities and management,” he said.