Minister of Transportation,Rotimi Amaechi has called for recruitment of female bus conductors in Nigeria saying the re-branding of the profession would create more employment opportunities for the female gender as well as bring about positive change to the nation at large.The bus conductors in their new uniform Amaechi disclosed this during the official launching of the Bus Conductors Association of Nigeria,BCAN, in Lagos Thursday while calling on women to see bus conducting as a dignified profession that would be respected in the country.Amaechi who was represented by the Director,Road Transportation and Mass Transit Administration,Dr. Anthonia Epka, reiterated that the involvement of women as bus conductors would bring about economic growth and development of Nigeria. “Women should participate fully in the profession so as to open up the investment opportunities”.
According to him,the ministry of transportation wants the profession to dignify itself so as to contribute immensely to the growth of the nation. Amaechi who noted that “BCAN” has affiliated itself with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria,TUC said that conducting themselves in a positive manner in the society would go a long way to redeeming their image. “This is also an avenue to remind all registered and approved members to see this development as a way of redeeming the damaged image of bus conductors. This is also an opportunity to pay your tax and not breach it at anytime. “BCAN” has not only affiliated with the state governments but also the federal government therefore its role is crucial in addressing insecurity issues that has taken its toll on the country at large”, he said. Ministry of transportation has recognized the usefulness of the association in providing security and conducive environment for commuters.His words: “Bus conductors are the major personnel in road transportation therefore their welfare is germane to the government in order to bring about quality service delivery to Nigerians.
The Association is a critical stakeholder in the affairs of transportation therefore the attitude of the bus conductors towards their client should change,” he warned.Meanwhile,the President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria TUC, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kangama,urged the Federal Government and the all state governments to throw its weight behind the association in the training and accreditation of conductors,by ensuring the enforcement of this program.He however commended the leadership of the Lagos state government,Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the concerted effort to sanitize the transportation sector towards achieving the Smart City Initiatives,SCI. Kangama said, “I must commend the Lagos state government in collaborating with the association in training,registration and accreditation of conductors in the state.“By sanitizing the bus conducting job through adequate and relevant training,the job will be attractive and therefore provide employment opportunities for our unemployed youths and graduates.“If bus conducting is seen as a respected profession in the western world,why can’t we replicate same in Nigeria”,he said. According to him, “All human activities revolves around transportation therefore it is important that the transportation sector of any country is designed and operate high level of safety,sanity and security.
Registration of bus conductor would bring about safety of the commuters and stop the issue of crime being perpetrated by some conductors as perceived by Nigerians.“The transportation sector contributes and plays a vital role in the socioeconomic dynamics of any economy”, he added.Kangama however urged the association to ensure that members pay their tax to the state government as at when due.Meanwhile, the National President, Bus Coordinators Association of Nigeria, BCAN, Comrade Israel Ade-Adeshola has called on bus conductors in the country to see the initiative of re-branding the profession as a way to better enhance their lives. While acknowledging the negative perceptions towards bus conductor as a profession, he said,the society will be convinced if only bus conductors see themselves as a respectable individuals in the society. According to him,“I was a bus conductor for nineteen years and I did not tarnish my image and therefore it is salient for every sane bus conductor in the country to see himself as a role model and not a nuisance in the society. “I am aware of the challenges the profession poses on individual and I promise that we will address all these challenges in order to make the society a better one. “To change the system is not a problem and I believe that with this innovation,we will be able to operate with a mindset of upgrading the profession to the next level. “The government is ready to change the face of the profession and we are equally ready to support at our level.This initiative has been done in the advanced countries and we believe that Nigeria should not be left out in the re-branding of the transportation system in Nigeria”,he added.