The primary purpose of a government is to see that the security and welfare of the people are enhanced. The government claimed that is to enhance the security of the people but it forget about the welfare part of it. Instead of government to create enabling environment for job creation, the policy that is implementing seems to be destroying the existing environment even as difficult as it is, it destroying more jobs than creating it and once peoples job are taking away from them without replacement, what we are likely to witness is putting the security of the people in jeopardy meaning that the welfare of the people that is been taking away by government is likely to compromise the security of the people. I will elucidate, first and foremost the job of controlling the vehicular traffic, it doesn’t matter whether it is bipodal, tripodal or contropodar as in motor-vehicle, cars and trucks and all that.
For the government to streamline, make laws and implement those laws. There are traffic laws that are existing in Lagos State and there are traffic law implementation’s officers as we have it in Federal Road Safety Corps and the Lastma. All of this people are the ones that government should have faced to insist that they should implement traffic laws that regulate the operation of tricycles and motorcycles in Lagos State. It is government that registered this people for commercial purposes, it is the government that took the money from them, and the local government even takes rate from them on daily basis. What have they done with this money and as a matter of fact the money they took from these people would they return it when they chase them out of business.
Now a lot of operators of these categories of vehicles have invested so much, some of them took so much loans to procure their equipment with which they work; most of these loans will not be paid back in the way that the loaner has agreed with them. So what do they expect them to do? Many of them will become more desperate, many of them have families, they have children in schools, and they have those who will fall sick to take to hospital. All of these expenditures are available for the operators of these categories of vehicles to undertake, so what will they do? They will become desperate, they will become angry with government, they will become rebellious and that will lead them into committing crimes. So when the height of criminality in the crime riddled city like Lagos is heightened then everybody is at risk.
We do not believe that the government should put our life more at risk than it is presently. It doesn’t matter whether they say that there are some emigrants from other countries. We have immigration agencies that should control that and if this immigration agency cannot identify who is Nigeria and who is not and none of Nigerians are given license to operate motorcycles and tricycles in Nigeria then is that the fault of the operators? Why don’t they find a way of streamlining their operation so that everybody will be subjected to the same law and at the end of the day the security and welfare of the people would have been protected by the government? So is an admittance of governmental failure when they say they have to ban it because they know that most of those who operate these categories of vehicle are the poor people and the people are the lowest wrong of the socioeconomic ladder that is unfair treatment for the masses of the people that voted them into power.
Well it is going to reduce the capacity of investors to operate within the state because there are several state roads that are not motorable than the use of motorcycles and tricycles and those who are to work in all these workplaces and maybe industries that are to be established live in Lagos sub-hub where vehicular transportation is limited to those two categories of vehicles. Many of them will not be able to get to work on time, many of them will be discouraged from going to work, many of them will laze around at work because they will have trekked a long distances, that means there would be reduction in capacity utilization of the personnel, it will also reduce the amount of productivity at work and also the man-hour that will be wasted in so doing which could have been put in the productive activity of the workplaces will go to waste.
So basically that will reduce the pre-capital income in the state that means that the economics of the state will plummet to a level that will make the state more unbearable and not conducive for establishment of new businesses and a lot of business will also want to move out of Lagos because those tricycles and motorcycles created jobs where government has failed. Of course what even more surprising is that the cooperate organization that established motorcycles business and were licensed to carry business in Lagos at least three of them like Max ride, Oride etc. are being chased out of work and these people said they have invested more than $200millions on the business. Where do they want them to get the money repaid to the investors, so these are some of the implications long term implication of what the government is doing? The buses that were rolled out cannot ply nooks and crannies of Lagos and these categories of vehicles i.e. motorcycles and tricycles would have to get to the highways before they can access petrol filling stations where they could refuel their vehicles. Some of them would have to necessarily drop their passengers by the bus-stops where the bigger bus will operate. Now if they get there, all the enforcement agencies are already harassing them and confiscating their vehicles.
The first thing is for the government because 65 buses is just like a drop of water in the ocean when you compare it with the needs of Lagos dwellers for public transport system. What they need to do is to go beyond that, they should procure smaller buses that can ply all of these neighborhood roads, this road that cannot be access by big and long buses. Lagos state government should procure vehicles that would have 4by4 transmission system that can ply all of those gully, riddled roads that are yet to be fixed by Lagos state. What we said is that the state can make use of motorcycles and tricycles unnecessary if all there roads are actually motorable. It would serve a lot of purpose if those who are interested are given loans even if it is going to be interest yielding loans at single digit to people who want to invest in smaller vehicles that can ply nooks and crannies of Lagos rather than relying on 65 buses to add to what is already in adequate in Lagos but people needed to get to the official bus-stops even before they are able to access the buses that is rolled out until there is alternative for people to get there they have not done much to the welfare of an average Lagosians. The ferry services have designated areas where they operate. If the state wants to use ferry services as alternative means of commuting, they would have dredge all the canals in Lagos that will link every community together. I’m aware that there is nowhere in Lagos that ferry services wouldn’t have been able to operate if all the canals are made usable by the ferry owners. Apart from the government sponsored ferry services, there are people who want to invest in the ferry services but for now only very few places can be access by ferry; for example if you are moving from Ikorodu to Lagos-island, you are moving round maybe to some Riverine areas but internal water system has not been made motorable for watercraft to ply, for example somebody is coming to Agege what can ferry services do for them? If people want to get to places like Ojodu and all of those areas that do not have waterways but they have canals that can be dredge and water can be directed into them through which ferry services will reach everywhere. What the State Government is supposed to do is not to put the cat before the ox, what they should have done is to put the cat before the ox. They could have made all of these nooks and crannies of Lagos accessible by ferry services or by smaller vehicles but they had done was to come on hard on the poor just because they do not have the capacity to defend themselves in the magnitude that can jot government to do something that is better than what they are doing currently. Ferry services can only help when the waterways are motorable.