FCT Minister Bala Mohammed yesterday said the rationale behind the suspension of ban on mini-bus operators in Abuja was to enable the administration make re-adjustment to reduce the hardship commuters faced during the ban.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) suspended the ban Wednesday for three weeks. The ban, announced Monday, had sparked protest by mini-bus operators in Abuja.
The minister told journalists yesterday that the ban was not meant to cause hardship to commuters hence the lifting of the ban.
“Drivers of mini buses are not helping matters; we will see how we can provide some succour in the form of higher purchase as a way of sustaining their families.
“We have over 700 hi-capacity buses in the FCT, the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company (AUMTCO) has about 300, the NURTW has about 200, and other licensed operators have about 200.
“But the mini buses will not allow them to work seriously. You only work on the basis of profitability, you will see the hi-capacity buses burning their gas without any passenger because the mini bus people will not give them any breathing space, moreover they are reckless and indiscipline.
“So we want to get a minimal cavity of monopoly for the hi-capacity buses and routes have been designated for the mini buses and the hi-capacity buses, this will decongest the traffic gridlock being experienced in the city” the minister said.
The minister had on Wednesday met with stakeholders including the officials of the Mini-Buses Union, FCT chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Trade Union Congress, TUC, and the FCT Police Commissioner as well as Director, Department of State Security.