The Lagos State Government now sees light at the end of the tunnel with the plan by the state to eventually phase out privately-owned buses, danfos, with which the agberos operate.
The Attorney General of Lagos State and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, said the unregulated activities of bus conductors, popularly known as agberos, in the state, has been a huge source of concern to the government.
The Attorney General said this at the weekend while engaging with journalists in his Alausa, Ikeja office.
Getting the agberos off Lagos roads has been particularly challenging because the agberos are members of a union.
However, Kazeem noted that with the danfos gone, the excesses of the agberos will also be gone, Kazeem said.
He noted that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration had since decided that the danfos would have no place in the mega city into which it was gradually turning Lagos.
He re-echoed Ambode’s resolve to transform public transportation in Lagos State, with his plan to replace the danfos with world-class luxurious buses to give commuters better comfort on the road.
This plan, he explained, would begin to materialise towards the end of the year, when the state would take delivery of the first tranche of the said world-class buses.
Kazeem said, “The agberos, who are, in the real sense, bus conductors, are members of a union of sort. So, the question will be: Can you proscribe them? Can you regulate them? I will say well, if a union has been recognised, you have to regulate them actually to make things much better.
“And that is a very important point which we are taking on. The Ministry of Transport and the police interface with these people and it’s something that we are going to take on.”
He added that Ambode had made it clear that the danfos that are on the streets presently are not befitting for a city like Lagos.
He said, “So, what he’s proposing is that this year, he intends to introduce world-class buses that will gradually replace those danfos in Lagos State. The first tranche, I believe, is over 800 buses and that should come towards the end of the year. What impact it is going to have on the issue of bus conductors is that with those kinds of buses, the rough way which you have complained about will be better regulated.
“A lot of these people will find jobs but they will have to be retrained, re-kitted and told how to conduct themselves better in public. A lot of the places that these buses are going to operate from are going to well set up and regulated. You’ve seen the Ikeja Bus Terminal, that’s world-class and that’s the kind of place where these buses are going to operate from.
“And you can imagine that ruffians and people who will wake up in the morning and drink paraga or small gin or whatever will not be allowed in these kinds of places. We are very hopeful that with this reform being proposed by His Excellency, things will get better in that area.”