Banter : Lagos Cooperate Bus Conductors ( Still Anticipating )

LAGOS COOPERATE BUS CONDUCTORS ( STILL ANTICIPATING )
There have been a lot of controversies since the National President of the Bus Conductors Association of Nigeria (BCAN), Comrade Israel Ade Adeshola  announced that Lagos State will employ one thousand (1,000) graduates as bus conductors. He also stated that the objective of this is to make the job of bus conducting attractive, respected and dignified globally while speaking with the press earlier this year. Well, some say it’s impossible, some ask how can this be possible and some are just indifferent about it.


In whatever category you are, I want you to put your doubts aside and let’s see what are the possibilities of graduates becoming bus conductors and drivers in Lagos State.  An answer to this question is the Lagos State government  can employ one thousand graduates or even more if a better road transportation system is provided. For this to happen, the government needs to invest more in the road transportation system and also have a better plan for making this to happen in order to create more jobs for graduates.

It’s not just about investing in the road transportation system of the state or making a better plan but it’s also about changing the ‘whole’ transportation system of the state.  The poor condition of the present road network and of the public transportation system affects the development of the state, and also the working and living conditions of it’s citizens. That is why there is an immediate need to change the present transportation system of Lagos state into a new and better one. Starting with changing the orientation of it’s citizens about using public transport popularly known as ‘danfo’. Overtime, it has been observed that people who take the danfo to transport themselves from one place to another take them out of no choice. Most times there are still embarrassed and insulted either by the bus driver or conductor.

There are also times when they have to go through so much stress to jump from one bus to another or rush to get a bus. Let’s not forget the risk some bus conductors take by standing at the door way of the bus or the back of the bus in order to have the bus filled and there have been cases of bus conductors and passengers also falling off  from the bus and losing their lives. Another thing that needs to be changed is the recent trend of some people collecting ‘tips’ from bus drivers or conductors for each passenger they carry at the bus stops and this becoming so annoying as some of this collectors go to the extent of fighting with bus conductors or drivers who refuse to pay at a particular bus stop.


Redefining the state’s architecture is a key factor for the success of transportation transformation in Lagos. There is a need for LAMATA ( Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority) is to collaborate with the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos Urban Renewal Agency, Ministry of Housing, Lands Bureau, Ministry of Environment and other important agencies to begin the redevelopment of the state. LAMATA should also collaborate with the new Ministry of Employment and Wealth Creation to develop a phasing plan for converting informal operators ( danfo drivers, conductors) into a cooperate system. The plan should be 100% participatory in which stakeholders in the sector will be committed to exhibit high level of transparency in it’s implementation.


Finally, the state government’s attempt to introduce well fitted Medium Occupancy Buses to replace over 145,000 Low Occupancy Buses(danfos) is a good start. However this can be achieved in phasing considering the huge numbers involved, status of many feeder roads and the impact on the commuters.

Let's not forget to appreciate the past and on-going projects by the recent government of Lagos State, and I hope that more good works will continue to redefine the state especially it’s transportation system. Eko o ni baje !

Images from : Motoring World Nigeria, thenationonlineng.net, africanripples.com, TheNET.ng, businessdayonline.com

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