Bus Rapid Transit drivers embark on strike

Bus Rapid Transit drivers embark on strike

- The Bus Rapid transit (BRT) scheme has helped the teeming number of commuters in Lagos state since its establishment

- The state government recently transferred the franchise enjoyed by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on the scheme to a new company

- The bus drivers are angry because of a cut in their salaries, but the company gives its own reasons why it took the drastic decision

Drivers of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme in Lagos, Nigeria have embarked on strike over a reduction in their salaries.

Bus Rapid Transit drivers embark on strike

The scheme has been of major assistance to commuters across the state

The scheme, an initiation of Bola Tinubu, a former governor of the state and now national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), started fully during the first term of Babatunde Fashola, a former governor of the state who is now the housing, works and power minister under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Since its introduction, the scheme has helped to ease the difficulties experienced by commuters in the state with about 20 million people.

But with the industrial action embarked upon on Tuesday, August 9, all BRT buses plying routes in Lagos, especially on Ikorodu road, have been off the road.

READ ALSO: How Ambode can tackle criminals in Lagos - Egberongbe

The drivers are angry with the authorities over a reduction in their salaries which they claim cannot take them home.

It was gathered that BRT staff receive around N50,000 pay package on monthly basis, but the management of the buses reduced the salary to N40,000.

NAIJ.com observed on Tuesday that commuters were stranded along all the routes being plied by the BRT buses.

Public relations officer, Primero Transport Services Limited, Mosunmola Agbaja, refused to speak on the reasons why the buses were not on road when he was contacted.

She said they were off the road because the management of the company was addressing them.

Managing Director of the company, Fola Tinubu, said the drivers were being paid N50,000 monthly and another N20,000 bonus.

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He explained that some of the drivers would take the buses out and park them somewhere without meeting up with the needed target and still collect the monthly salaries and bonuses.

According to Tinubu, the management decided to reduce the monthly salaries to N40,000 and increase the bonus to N40,000 so that those who did not work would only collect the N40,000 while those who meet up with the target would collect both.

He said the company would not tolerate a situation where some people who did not work would collect full salaries and bonuses.

Primero Transport Service Limited was recently given the sole franchise to manage the BRT scheme after the state government terminated the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW’s franchise.

READ ALSO: Ambode leads as Nigeria's top performing governors

Primero Transport Services Limited was launched on November 12, 2015 by Governor Akinwumi Ambode at Majidun depot.

Its full operation commenced on 13th November, 2015.

Recently, a clash between officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) and street traders in the state led to the destruction of some of the buses.

The traders were angry that one of their colleagues, who was fleeing from the officials, ran into a moving truck and was crushed.

Source: Naija.ng

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