Mr Fola Tinubu, the Managing Director, Primero Transport Service Limited, has urged the Federal Government to provide a policy to sustain public transportation system for effective service delivery in the country.
Tinubu gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
He said the policy would also serve as the Federal Government’s means of intervention to ease the plight of the masses, particularly after the ban on motorcycles in several areas.
He stated that the system of running public transportation was not rocket science as it was being done all over the world with models and operations the country could emulate.
He pleaded with the government to subsidise public transport, to enable operators provide effective operations that commuters and low-income earners could continue to enjoy.
“The Federal Government needs to step up and do the needful because, without it, the transportation system would suffer some form of collapse, seeing that we no longer want to use motorcycles as our means of transportation.
“However, if we want a world class service, it has to be paid for, the question is who paid for it.
“Anywhere in the world, you cannot change the full market price because if you change the price, it cannot be affordable and you need the affordability to make it work.
“That is the reason both federal and state governments must have to step in to bridge the gap because without stepping in, the system will collapse,” Tinubu said.
Tinubu said that it was a recipe for disaster for the government to artificially keep their cost low to make people happy but should allow the cost to be determined by the market.
He said that this was because the cost of operations, diesel and the spare parts used to put the buses in shape had all gone up.
He said that in spite of the increase in the cost of operations, the management had worked hard to make the fares stable for their service to be affordable for commuters
“We took a loan to buy 434 buses without a kobo from the Federal and the State Governments, but the Federal Government even collected full tariff from us even though it’s for public use.
“They collected a 35 percent tariff without any waiver, but I am saying that the Federal Government needs to help out more.
“We will like to bring new buses in yes, but if I am going to go to the stock market for them to lend me money to go buy buses, I have to show how they are going to get their money back.
“Government cannot solve the issue of public transportation alone, but if you want the private sector to come in there have to be some modicum of profit for them and you have to show them how to make money.
“This is what I have been saying for the last six, seven years; the Federal and State Governments need to bridge the gap as you don’t pass social responsibilities of the state to a private company,” he said.
He said that Lagos was the backbone of Nigeria’s economy because whatever happened in Lagos affected the country, adding that the Federal Government should start treating Lagos as the British Government was treating England.