Ikeja - Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, has called on members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to support his administration in ensuring the success of the new traffic law.
Fashola made the call on Monday when the national executive committee of the union, led by the President, Alhaji Nojim Yasin, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Ikeja.
The governor said the law was nothing more than a piece of legislation, adding that compliance with its provisions by the people, especially transporters, was necessary to make it work.
The law, which seeks to ensure order and safety on the road, was enacted by the government on Aug. 2.
"Nobody can dispute the role of NURTW as a critical stakeholder in public transportation, particularly road transportation.
"But I think as you do your business and expand it, there must be sense of obligation to those who make your business expand - your customers.
"I have explained at many fora that the BRT buses belong to the NURTW and not the government. What we do is simply to regulate the system and provide the infrastructure.
"So, we see you as partners in progress but we will not succeed if we play outside established rules and that is the importance of our road traffic law.
"Let me use this opportunity to reiterate to you and all members of your union that it is in your enlightened interest to obey the provisions of the law.
"So, we want you to co-operate with us and abide by the law. If you abide by the law, you will gain more, if you play outside the rules, you will lose," he said.
Fashola also pointed out that the law was not meant to punish members of the union and residents but designed to "organise our lives and promote our common prosperity".
The governor emphasised that government had not banned all activities of NURTW in the state but explained that government only demanded for sanity at the parks.
"What we have simply said is that we don`t want unions in the parks. You have offices, regulate your affairs properly, and collect your dues through your offices.
"You are not the only business which has a union, NBA is a union too and they won`t come to your offices to ask for dues.
"Accountants pay their dues to ICAN and doctors also pay their professional dues.
"You are not going to be different because you know what is happening in the parks. They are being taken over by touts, people who are not even members of your union.
"So, if you co-operate with us, you restructure your operations, your staff wear their uniforms, we will be able to know the touts. That is what we want," he said.
Fashola said criminals used drugs and hid dangerous weapons in the parks and added that the government would soon take steps to rid motor parks across the state of such items.
He pledged the government's commitment to improving the transport sector by providing the enabling environment for transportation business to thrive.
Yasin commended the governor for the support he had given to transporters in the state.
He called for the establishment of more motor parks to decongest the existing ones and ease the operations of transporters.
Yasin restated the support of the union to the Lagos Traffic law and promised the members would comply with its provisions and contribute to its success.