Former commercial motorcyclists banned from operating by the Anambra Government have expressed their desire to be included to benefit from the 1,000 shuttle buses provided by the government.
However, the government has insisted they must undergo training before they could be qualified for the programme.
Chief Clement Chukwuka, Managing Director of Anambra State Small Business Agency (ASBA), made the disclosure on Thursday in an interview in Awka.
It will be recalled that Anambra Government had on July 1 effected the ban on commercial motorcycle mode of transportation in Awka and Onitsha cities and their adjoining towns.
The state government also said it was rolling out 1,000 shuttle buses to be given to the commercial motorcyclists in the affected routes for agreed sums to cushion the effect of the ban on the operators and commuters.
The agency’s boss said the trainees who will be in batches of 50 persons will be certified by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) before they would be eligible to apply and benefit from the shuttle bus transport services project.
Chukwuka, who said that only such operators who did their businesses under recognised trade unions in the affected areas should apply for the buses.
“With that pronouncement effective from July 1, my office has been inundated with inquiries from the banned riders and we met with all the critical stakeholders.
“The road map include that the unions of these operators in the affected areas will send their members in batches of 50, they will be trained and certified to provide commercial shuttle service by the FRSC and VIO.
“Most of them were not trained and because they are going to be upgraded to drivers and for them to benefit, we are going to train them and it is after the training that they can come and apply for these buses.
“Okada is an all-comers business, 90 to 95 per cent accident cases in Anambra hospitals are from Okada and we cannot allow that this time.
“The governor has as a matter of fact directed the Ministry of Transport and VIOs to ensure that all commercial bus drivers in Anambra are trained again,’’ he said.
Chukwuka said the buses were provided at subsidised rates and that applicants were to make down payments of N100, 000.
He said it was only the Anambra Government among other states that banned Okada and provided an enabling environment that would keep the displaced people in economic activities. (NAN)