Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s quest to ban yellow buses this year is gradually becoming a matter of constant discussion on radio, television, newspapers and among those whom this new policy will affect. According to the governor, he isn’t comfortable calling Lagos a mega city because when he wakes up in the morning he sees yellow buses, Okada, and tricycles littered everywhere, which is why he wants to banish yellow buses this year. This has brought to the fore the need for a rethink of such decision especially as it will affect many lives be it positive or otherwise.
Lagos is the most popular city in Nigeria, one of the fastest growing cities in Africa and with a population of 17.5 million people. And no doubt it has acquired the status of a mega city. If so, then the decision of the government is a step in the right direction. However, certain things need to be put in place.
What then happens to the present drivers of these buses? Not just the drivers alone but also the bus conductors. Does the government know they don’t work part-time and so have no alternative jobs? In answering these questions, the commissioner for Information, has disclosed that they will get engaged and absorbed into the new scheme by training them. But considering the number of commercial bus drivers and conductors is this possible?
Notwithstanding, the ease of transportation is another case in point. Banning yellow buses popularly called danfo, will bring hardship to passengers. The government for sure will not be able to provide the number of buses that will be enough for commercial buses users. Also, considering the capacity of the buses, buses will not leave the bus-stops on time. Many people trying to meet up with work will be delayed because a bus with sitting capacity of 30-70 will not leave the bus stops with just 5-10 passengers like the yellow buses.
Furthermore what about crime? Will making many people jobless not increase crime? I am not just talking about the passengers and conductors, what about the ‘Agberos’. What plans does the government have for these people? The relationship between these yellow buses and Agberos is like that of a host and parasite. Whatever affects the commercial bus drivers will definitely affect the Agberos. The buses that will be provided by the government is obviously not an alternative for their source of livelihood.
We commend the move by the government to remove these people from the road (drivers, conductors, agberos) in other to give Lagos the mega city look. But at the same time we call on them to provide a source of income for those it will afect. For a mega city with jobless people would in no time become crime city.