Mr Odunze Valentine, is the Managing Director/CEO, Sunquick Motor Company with First Degree and second Degree in Mathematics and Education Administration from UNILAG. Sunquick Motors has been on ground for 15 years now he said. In this interview with Saturday Vanguard Business, he reveals most challenges of transport business in Nigeria and also while fare increases during Mber month. Excerpts:
Counting on your experience in transport business, how do you see the business in Nigeria?
Transport business in Nigeria I can say is not all that profitable owing to some challenges in the operating environment, ranging from the condition of our roads which affects our vehicles leading to wear and tear. That alone makes the cost maintenance high. There are also other expenses that are ripping the business off and this makes most transport companies go home with little or nothing as profit.
What do you expect government to do in order to assist transport companies in the country?
We need government assistance in the area of credit facility and also making vehicles available for us in the sense that those that can’t afford full payment on purchase can be allowed to pay instalmentally pay. Again, if transport business in Nigeria must be enjoyable, government should try as much as possible to fix our roads so that cost of maintaining our vehicles will reduce.
What measures is transport owners are putting in place to reduce accident and insecurity on our roads?
For us here, we have some security gadgets used in checking passengers before they board. That is what we are doing on our own. Now government has stirred up security on our high ways by providing highway patrols. At the same time, we are appealing to them to do more in terms of security. More importantly, we have to regulate speed levels and that is what we do in my company here in order to avoid careless and rate of accident on our roads. Our vehicles here have speed limited and these limits are being checked and any driver that goes beyond speed limited is being punished. But we are appealing to government to make a compulsory thing for every transporter so that lives will be saved while travelling, and it will also make drivers to be conscious on the road while driving.
Some transporters are on line booking, is your company competing on the aspect so that you would not lose your customers especially in this Mber month?
We have online booking, but we are facing challenges on that now. Hopefully next year, we are resuming fully because it helps a lot. It saves the customers or travellers the inconvenience of booking the same day they are travelling. After online booking, all they need do is to pick their luggage and board the day they want to travel. These days technology is reigning so the only it will be easy both for transporters and travellers is online booking.
What are doing in this Mber month so that your customers would not complain of luggage missing and other things?
Actually, we have put a lot of measure in place this time around. As I said earlier on, we have metal dictator we use for checking before passengers board. Secondly overleading a vehicle is what we are strictly going to avoid so that passengers will be comfortable and have a convenience ride. On the other side, let government fix our roads and increase the number of security on the road especially this Mber month so that people can smoothly and go back to their various destination without bad news of armed robbery attack of any kind. It will also reduce traffic on roads.