LAGBUS operations resume in Lagos after stand-off

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Lagos intra-city bus operations have finally resumed after a truce was brokered between the LAGBUS Asset Management and stakeholders, to resolve the crisis caused by government’s order restricting LAGBUS operations on the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) lane in Ikorodu corridor, Lagos state.

The ban by Lagos State Government had led to a strike action embarked upon by drivers and other operations staff resulting in passengers being stranded at major bus stops across the Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Consequently, some miscreants took advantage of the situation to foment trouble, leading to attacks on some commuters, including drivers of Primero Bus Services, operators of BRT, while 12 BRT buses were also vandalized.

The General Manager of LAGBUS, Mr Idowu Oguntona while briefing journalists on the development, said the management of LAGBUS Asset Management and stakeholders had amicably resolved the crisis.

Mr Oguntona stressed that the various concerns had been addressed as he apologized for the inconveniences experienced by commuters.lagbus-general-manager-oguntona

“Despite the various stakeholders’ engagement sessions, our bus captains reacted to the directive on the restriction of movement of LAGBUS branded buses on Ikorodu corridor by boycotting work due to security concerns including potential wrath of passengers and road
side miscreants.”

“However, having put in place measures to address the concerns raised, normal operations have since resumed; we apologise for any inconvenience that might have been caused and wish to reaffirm our commitment to providing quality service to our esteemed customers,” he added.

Investors’ confidence
The LAGBUS General Manager noted that government’s commitment to existing and prospective investors remained sacrosanct as he affirmed government’s responsibility in creating an enabling environment for investors.

Mr Oguntona pointed out that what the new directive had done was to create clarity and ensure that the corridor remained dedicated for the private operators.

“This policy will assure potential investors to know that the government has policies and are strong in the enforcement of such policies; we don’t want to create a situation where policies are created and the necessary enforcement is absent, I believe that the government is committed to creating the enabling environment to attract potential investors that will comply with the policies and regulation of the government,” he said.

Job security
Mr Oguntona also stated that the company was ready to readjust to any shortfall in revenue while staff had also been guaranteed their job security.

“Performance is a key thing in our organization which ensures that the workers work effectively in order to earn their wages, we earlier anticipated that there might be some impact in the revenue the company will generate but what we have done is to assure all our captains that they will not be worse off and that the company will absolve whatever potential loss that might arise from the change in policy,” according to him.
Some of the LAGBUS staff who were arrested in the course of the strike action have now been released courtesy of the truce.