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Jos residents seek extension of tricycle operation time

About three weeks to the end of the administration of the former governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, the state government reviewed the restriction it…

About three weeks to the end of the administration of the former governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, the state government reviewed the restriction it imposed on tricycle operations in Jos, the capital city, by one hour.

The review was from the initial 6am to 6pm daily deadline to 6am – 7pm.

The initial 6am to 6pm operation time lasted for about three years. During the period the initial operation time lasted, the situation generated lots of reactions, eyebrows and outright criticism. Each time the residents recount their experiences, the attendant hardship and ordeal the restriction caused them is often evident.

Before the restriction, tricycle operators were allowed from 6am to 9pm, a situation that gave traders, tricycle users, workers and other businessmen and businesswomen good time to round off their activities from the town and return back to their residential areas.

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But immediately the 6am to 9pm operation time was reviewed to 6am – 6pm, things changed drastically and commercial and other activities were impacted negatively as people had to compress their activities to meet up the new restriction deadline. Suffice it to say that the new review (from 6am -9am) came into effect after violence in the state at that time.

As a result of the new order, a lot of inconveniences were experienced by both the tricycle operators and passengers. The situation also affected nightlife in the city. Besides, Jos city was always deserted once it was evening. Some commercial vehicles plying major roads also took advantage of the situation to increase their fares.

Daily Trust Saturday reports that other commercial vehicles hardly ply places that are off major highways, so the effect of the restriction is highly felt as people who miss tricycles to their destinations before 6pm would have to trek home. So the restriction increased the number of people trekking to different destinations in the evening.

But despite the suffering, some people were of the view that the restriction would help in solving the security situation in the city, which they said were often perpetrated using tricycles.

Reacting to the situation at that time, the immediate past Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dan Manjang, said the initial decision by the government to restrict tricycle operation in the state was not to inflict hardship on anyone but due to solve some security challenges. He added that it was the joy of the then government to see that the transportation system in the state was effective, free of inconveniences, and the people would be hap

But since their tenure came to an end and the new administration of Governor Caleb Mutfwang took over, both tricycle operators and residents have continued to say that the additional one hour is not enough; hence they are calling for a total lifting of the restriction or further review upwards.

The chairman of Tricycle Riders Union of Nigeria, Old Airport junction branch, Jos, Samuel Davou, said the restriction of their operation time had caused some form of hardship.

He said travellers were also affected by the restriction, especially those who arrive in Jos at the time tricycles are no longer allowed to ply the roads; hence oftentimes, travellers get stranded because commercial taxis don’t go beyond the highways.

A resident who spoke on the effects of the restriction, Bulus Adamu, said he often experienced difficulty going home after work everyday.

Adamu, who is a company driver in Jos, said he usually closed by 5pm; and sometimes, work could make him extend his time, and when that happens, getting home becomes a difficult task since he is expected to always go back to his office to park the company’s car before going home.

He called on the new administration to endeavour to extend the tricycle operation time beyond 7pm since many people live in places far from the city centre.

A resident of Zarmaganda, Yusuf Maza, said that since the restriction was introduced, he always suffered whenever he closed from work. For him, on a daily basis, going home has been a herculean task.

According to him, trekking home at night after managing to get a commercial vehicle to his junction is even more dangerous, especially for people in their area, because of the activities of bad boys.

He called on the government to increase the operation time for tricycles and put measures in place to tackle any negative outcome that would likely be associated with it. He said that if this is done, it would improve the economic activities of the people and make the state lively.

Maza said there was the need to tackle drug abuse and other antisocial activities in the city instead of just restricting the operation of tricycles.

A tricycle operator, Isiya Abubakar, said the time given to them was not enough for them to make the desired earnings, saying they mostly get passengers in the evening.

Abubakar, who plies the Miango-Low Cost road, lamented that with the current fuel hike as a result of subsidy removal, they hardly make enough money to carter for their families. He said government should consider extending their operation time to at least 9pm to enable them meet their basic needs.

He said it was not entirely true that criminals use tricycles to perpetrate their activities at night, pointing out that the restriction has not reduced crime in the metropolis and its environs.

He said tricycle operators were also victims of crime as they are often robbed of their phones and other valuables. He also said criminal activities did not usually take place only at night as there were such incidents at daytime, especially at lonely places.

Another tricycle operator who plies Rantiya, Tudun Wada and Dadinkowa areas, Luka Joseph, said the issue of using tricycles to perpetrate crime would depend on the area.

According to him, there are areas with high rate of crime, so attacks could occur at any time, whether on tricycle or other vehicles and means.

He, therefore, submitted that regulating tricycle operation time would not solve the problem of crime in the city.

A resident of the Low Cost area in Jos, Isaac Raphael, said the restriction had not really yielded any result because crime, drug abuse and other anti-social vices still occurred in the city.

He said there had been some kind of discrepancies in compliance to the regulation as some tricycles operate beyond the restriction hours in parts of the city.

He equally called on the new administration in the state to further review the time for the sake of the common man.

When contacted on the issue, the special assistant on media to Governor Mutfwang, Gyang Bere, said the administration was yet to take several decisions as the governor is currently on an assessment tour to government facilities across state to ascertain its level in order to formulate the right policies towards tackling the issues around them.

Bere said Governor Mutfwang had visited government establishments and agencies like the Agric Services Training Centre and Marketing Limited (ASTC), Plateau Specialist Hospital, Plateau High Court, among others.

 

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