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Commuters Stranded as Lagos Drivers Commence Strike

Many commuters were stranded in Lagos State on Monday as commercial bus drivers commenced a seven-day strike. The strike is due to the alleged extortion by the men of motorparks and garages management in the State. Recall that the commercial drivers in Nigeria’s economic nerve centre, Lagos State, under the umbrella of the Joint Drivers Welfare Association Of Nigeria (JDWAN), had declared a 7-day boycott of transport services in protest against arbitrary levies imposed on members by the State government.
According to the Association, the seven-day boycott would start on Monday, October 31 and end on November 6, 2022. In a statement issued on Sunday, signed by its National Leader, Akintade Abiodun, the Association lamented payment of illegal fees and collection of high levies from their members by government officials, which they said had increased the cost of living in Lagos.  

Lagos drivers accuse Oluomo’s boys, Police, LASTMA of extortion, begin strike Monday

The Lagos chapter of the Joint Drivers’ Welfare Association of Nigeria (JDWAN) will go on strike from Monday, October 31.

The body of hundreds of commercial bus drivers made the announcement at the weekend.
They decried “indiscriminate extortion and violent harassment” by transport agencies, thugs, the police, and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
In a statement, JDWAN particularly complained about the actions of Lagos State Parks and Garages Management Committee members.
The committee is headed by Musiliu Akinsanya, better known as MC Oluomo, ex-chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
It was formed after the Lagos government suspended the NURTW over incessant bloody clashes across the state.
JDWAN chairman Opeyemi Sulaiman and secretary Ajimatanarareje Feyisayo said the challenges drivers face jerk up the cost of transportation.
The officials noted that the increasing cost of goods and services in Lagos was a consequence of the situation.
They urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to look into motor parks’ excesses, illegal ticketing and tolling “at almost every bus stop”.
JDWAN members said on a daily basis, they lose half of their income to park boys, transport agencies, and others.
They disclosed that exorbitant charges are paid in the garages and at bus stops and that whether they pick passengers or not, “we pay morning, afternoon and night”.
The statement informed the public that some routes have as many as 25 bus stops “which also serve as illegal tax collection avenues”.
It revealed that from Badagry to Mile 2, between N3,500 & N5,000 is paid, apart from park hoodlums who collect N200 or N300 per bus.
Buses plying Yaba to Ikeja pay at total of N1,300 – N200 at Jibowu, Onipanu N200, Elediye N200, Palmgrove N200, Total bus stop N100, Fadeyi N100, Anthony N100, Ikeja N200.
While heading back to Yaba, N500 each is paid at Palmgrove & Onipanu, Fadeyi & Total N500 each, Yaba N200, Lagos ticket N800.
“At Seme park, they collect N7,100 in the morning. Federal Mass & Coaster buses pay over N12,000 on each trip from Oko Afo to CMS or to Oyingbo, which includes illegal payments at several bus stops.
“From Ogijo to Ikorodu, we pay over N5,500 per day. Garage Ticket N850, Chairman ticket N1,700, King’s levy N200, Ita Oluwo N500, Odogunyan N1,200, Ile Epo Oba N200. We also pay N900 for passing by whether you pick up a passenger or not.
“At Ikorodu Roundabout, we pay N1,000 each in the morning and afternoon, and N500 in the evening, which makes it N2,500. At Benson Bus Stop, we pay N900 for a whole day, loading at N300 each for morning, afternoon and evening.
“At Agric Bus Stop, we pay N200 to 8 (N1,600) motor park thugs. It is called ‘Welcome to Agric Tax’. When we load passengers, we pay an extra N300 which isn’t part of the N1,600. At Aunty Kenny bus stop, we pay N200 before buying Lagos State ticket for N500.
“At Ogolonto bus stop, we pay N100. At Mile 12 bus stop, we pay N500 for plying the expressway and N1,000 for plying service lane (for buses enroute Yaba – Oyingbo). Mile 12 to Ojuelegba buses pay N1,500, while red coaster buses pay N2,000.
“Red buses from Ikorodu to Oshodi pay N5,000 to motor park boys in the morning and afternoon. At Ketu bus stop, we pay between N600 to N1,000, depending on the size of the bus, for just dropping off passengers or picking up any single one.
“We pay N2,000 each in the afternoon and evening, which makes a total of N7,300 daily. Korope plying lyana Iba-Okoko to Agbara are paying N5,000 per day to motor park boys without the extra LASTMA & Police Department & Lagos Task Force daily extortion.”
The statement noted that when members resist extortion, they are arrested and forced to pay N10,000 for bail to the police while the motor park boys go free.
It said drivers also pay for entertainment, security, unit chairman’s food and many other levies “with threat of violence at any slight refusal”.
JDWAN wants an end to charging bus drivers the fare of three passengers after loading in parks or garages.
They want to only pay per bus, while only the Lagos government should issue tickets.
The operators said tickets by Lagos Parks and Garages Committee were no longer acceptable to them.
They further demand an end to thugs at bus stops and an end to harassment by LASTMA, Lagos Task Force and Police Rapid Response Squad (RRS).
JDWAN alleged that they “collaborate and hire thugs to attack and extort us every day without violating any law”.
An industrial action by the commercial drivers means commuters in Lagos will face tough times next week.
The commercial city has a population of about 20 million people, but a lesser percentage have private vehicles.

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