COMMUTERS in Lagos, stranded as drivers of the state Bus Rapid Transport
(BRT) downed tools over alleged delay of their salary.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
reported that the scheme, being operated by Primero Transport Services Limited,
provided bus services on dedicated lanes or corridor in the metropolis.
The company, which began operation
in November 2015, has 434 buses in its fleet and more than 2,000 staff.
Some of the drivers told NAN that
they were protesting delayed salary payment, alleged unfavorable conditions of
service and poor welfare.
When NAN visited the Majidun,
Ikorodu depot of the transport company, hundreds of drivers had converged on
the bus corridor and barricaded it to prevent movement.
Also, buses belonging to the company
were seen parked outside.
A driver, Mr Julius Adejire, told
NAN that “for the past days, we have been waiting for our salary for July, but
up to this moment, we have not received alert for the payment. The funny thing
is that as of Monday evening, we discovered that some other staffers, including
the engineers and ground staff, have been receiving alert but the drivers have
not received ours. Can we drive this bus with an empty stomach?”
Abdul Raheem said apart from
delayed salary, the drivers wanted improved welfare and working conditions.
Another driver, oluwaseun, told NAN
that the alleged delayed salary had made it difficult for him to offset the
medical bills of his daughter who was recently involved in an accident.
Attempts by the company’s Managing
Director, Mr Fola Tinubu, to have the protesting drivers resume work failed, as
the drivers denied being calmed.
Mr Tinubu hinged the delay in
salary payment on an error on the part of the banking institution handling the
disbursement, adding that the money should be in their accounts by now.