We are disturbed by the abrupt disruption of public transportation in the Federal Capital Territory since Monday, leading to loss of man-hour at several workplaces as well as truncation of the means of livelihood of several artisans and commuter bus drivers in the Federal Capital.
The sudden introduction of a ban on the use of mini buses for transportation of commuters into the main city of Abuja has been confirmed to be responsible for this disruption. And this has greatly affected movement of workers and artisans whose workplaces are located in the main city as over 90% of those who work in the Federal Capital Territory live in the suburbs, called satellite towns far from the city centre where their workplaces are located.
That the Federal Capital Development Authority’s Transport Secretariat suddenly banned mini buses from the city centre because of its plan to introduce long buses is not enough to abruptly stop the mini buses when the FCDA is yet to provide enough of those long buses it intends to introduce.
Until there are enough of the long buses accessible to commuters in the satellite towns, the ban must be reversed as it is completely anti people, ill timed and threatens peace and socio economic development as workers may lose their jobs if they are unable to report for work on schedule while the mini bus drivers and their assistants who may lose their means of livelihood may find it difficult to survive.
No matter how plausible a policy is, government must learn to get the people involved in all the process leading to the introduction of such policies that directly affects the lives of the people.
We are convinced the FCT lack enough commercial buses and what is needed urgently is the provision of more commercial buses and not an abrupt ban on any of the existing ones.