Former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has urged tricycle and motorcycle riders to regulate themselves to ensure a smooth land transportation system that accommodates them.
Amaechi made the call at the Strategic Stakeholders Summit organised by the Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN) in Abuja, Thursday.
While noting that some members of ACOMORAN were graduates, he said the stereotype that they were bad could only be corrected, and their operations respected if their mode of transportation was fully regulated.
According to Amaechi, what we see in Nigeria is a chaotic land transportation system and this is because it is a responsibility shared between the federal and state governments.
“I think that if we regulate the motorcycle riders, then we’ll have a solution to complain 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 Minister of Transportation, and they were telling us to ban you completely, I asked the question, where will go if we ban you?’’ he asked.
He said that for the government to ban motorcycle riders there should be an alternative provided for them to earn their 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 to that request, saying I believe that your association creates huge employment that people are taking for granted. One reason why I supported you is that you are part of the economic growth of this country.
“I realised that contrary to the impression that people have of you as illiterates and touts, things have actually changed,’’ he said.
Amaechi said that it is amazing that among them especially at the association’s leadership level; there were people who were 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,’’ the former minister said.
He 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 a regulatory framework for your sector yet, please regulate yourselves through your association,’’ he said.