The Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, has said commercial driving in Nigeria has to be professionalised.
The Minister made this call when the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) paid him a courtesy call in Abuja.
The Minister said: “ I think there is the need for commercial driving to be professionalized. Commercial driving should not be an all comers affair. Someone should not just learn driving and then put a vehicle on the road and starting commercial transportation. There should be special training for commercial drivers and there should be stringent conditions to be met by someone before becoming a commercial driver.”
He also told the union “to curb individual recklessness by training your members against drunk-driving and drug abuse. Alcohol should not be sold in motor parks and any driver who needs to take medications to relax should do so when he is not going to drive. We need to stop putting the lives of our people in danger”, Adegoroye said.
The National President of the union, Mr. Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa, led some national officers of the union on a courtesy visit to the Minister to endorse the plan by the Federal Ministry of Transportation for a mass transit scheme that will make available new vehicles for commercial drivers in the country.
The Federal Ministry of Transportation had recently set up a committee to work towards the implementation of a proposed special scheme for mass transit to be driven by transport operators for ease of road transportation across the country.
The NURTW President said “commercial drivers across the country heaved a sigh of relief when the news of the proposed scheme filtered, said the union will do everything possible to partner with the federal government to see to the actualization of the scheme.”
The union leader disclosed that the last time drivers in the country enjoyed a sustainable mass transit scheme was in 1992 during the regime of former Military Administrator, General Ibrahim Babaginda, saying attempts by successive administrations on mass transit schemes have flopped.
Buruwa therefore urged the Minister to get the leadership of the transport union involved in the process as the drivers will be able to guide the government on the implementation of the scheme, especially on the choice of vehicles suitable for Nigerian roads.