Drivers of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses have finally resumed work after their one-day protest which happened on Tuesday over delay in payment of their salaries and unfavourable working conditions.
They resumed back to work after Primero Transport Services Ltd., the operators of the scheme, said that it lost about N50 million as a result of the one-day protest.
The management, led by Mr Fola Tinubu, however, expressed its apologies to its teeming commuters for the difficulties the strike brought on them.
A source who visited the Majidun Depot of the company in Ikorodu yesterday saw some of the drivers preparing their buses for the day’s operations, while some of them were loitering outside the depot.
However,the atmosphere changed positively when Mr Fola Tinubu, the company’s Managing Director, rode on the first bus from the depot to its Ikorodu Terminal.
Tinubu reassured commuters that the buses had resumed their regular services.
He said: “As you can see, the buses are back on the road, we have rolled out over 100 buses and we are pushing more out.”
“So all I can do is to appeal to residents of Lagos to bear with us, it was circumstances beyond our control; it is over now, our buses are back on the road.’’
Tinubu said: “the terms of employment have been spelt out; if you are comfortable with it, you can come and work.”
“If you are not, you can look for employment somewhere else; it is not by force for us that somebody has to work for Primero.”
“So if they are happy let them come in, I don’t have grudges against anybody.”
“As you can see, all the ones (drivers) that were out yesterday are back at work now, so if the few that are outside want to come they can do so.”
“I am not putting a deadline on it right now.’’
“Though a minimum of N50 million was lost by the company, residents of Lagos bore the pain the most during the one-day strike embarked upon by the drivers.
“We’ve not even quantified it yet, but we are looking at least N50 million.”
“But more importantly, what about all the people (commuters) that wanted to go to work and couldn’t do so, or were late for work, contract.
“How do you quantify the sufferings that people went through yesterday; so, let us forget Primero’s loss.
“All I can do is just beg them (commuters) and apologise,’’ he added.
He added that the company would continue to provide quality services to its commuters, as well as create conducive working environments for its members of staff.
“In fact, this event (the strike) will re-energize me, and I will intensify my efforts, not only to make the busmen happy but also to provide a better service for Lagos residents,’’ he said.
Tinubu also expressed the company’s appreciation to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) for resolving the issues that precipitated the strike.
“The governor has been very good on this issue; I thank him so much.
“He is one of the people that made the resumption possible because he cares a lot about the commuters.’’