Former Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has charged Tricycle and Motorcycle riders to regulate themselves to make for a smooth land transportation system which accommodates them.
Amaechi spoke at the Strategic Stakeholders Summit organised by the Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairs and Rides Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN) in Abuja, Thursday.
He stated that the stereotype that Tricycle and Motorcycle riders are bad can only be corrected, and their operations respected, if their mode of transportation is fully regulated, noting that some riders are actually graduates.
Amaechi said, “What you see in Nigeria is a chaotic Transportation system when it comes to land transport, and the reason is because land transport is a responsibility shared between the Federal government and the State governments. I think that if we regulate the Motorcycle riders, then we’ll have a solution to the complains about their indiscipline.
“I agree that genuine and real operators in this sector are not criminals. I believe that if the government regulates you properly, you can be at home or you can be riding, and people will call you to come and pick them.
“When I was the Minister of Transportation, and they were telling us to ban you completely, I asked the question, where will all of you go if we ban you? Because, for us to ban you, we must be able to provide you an alternative means of livelihood.
“Where we don’t have an alternative means of employment, the best thing to do is to leave you and regulate you. So I replied that request saying I believe that your association creates a huge employment that people are taking for granted. One reason why I supported you is that, you are part of the of the economic growth of this country.
“I realise that contrary to the impression that people have of you as illiterates and touts, things have actually changed. You now have amongst you, especially at the association’s leadership level, people who are well educated, exposed and patriotic.
“I believe that graduates are also motorcycle riders, and I believe that some of you may not want to be Motorcycle riders, but you are forced by the economic realities.
Amaechi advised the Tricycle and Motorcycle operators to streamline their operations, and work together to provide better and safer transportation at their level of operation.
“Work together, work in unity, provide better transport, and if the government have not provided regulatory framework for your sector yet, please regulate yourselves through your association,” he said.