#BounceExclusive: Jibowu And Berger; The New Lagos 'Road' Ports
If you travelling into Lagos for the first time by road or planning to return to your state of residence after your business trip in Lagos, two things are involved.
You may not find that luxury bus at the usual park and you may have to head to Ojota or Berger to begin your journey.
Mobile policemen in several patrol vehicles have taken over the Jibowu interstate motor parks on Ikorodu Road.
The policemen including operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMAN) blocked the entrances to the premises of the transport companies located along the Jibowu axis.
The development followed a 7-day ultimatum the Lagos State Government gave operators of inter-state transport to relocate to the designated inter-state motor parks.
The policemen prevented vehicles from driving in or out of the premises of the transport service operators.
Ojota and Ojodu Berger are about 12.19 kilometres and 18 kilometres respectively away from Jibowu.
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The State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde said the decision is aimed taking out avoidable nuisances and installing sanity and civility in the environment.
“Henceforth, they will have to go to Ojota and Ojodu Berger which are the two designated inter-state motor parks. The ones that we have here in Jibowu will have to move and there is a 7-day ultimatum for everyone of them beginning from the ones in this axis to move,” Ayorinde said.
Bounce News correspondent, who visited the area on Thursday, was told that the policemen and LASTMA officials raided the place on Monday, few days to the expiration of the ultimatum.
It was gathered that most of them where caught unaware as they were not expecting government to take any action before Wednesday.
Many operators were affected by the government’s action as their buses and passengers were prevented from parking or boarding.
Mostly hit by the ban are Peace Mass Transit and God is Good Motors (GIGM). The two transport companies recently opened their ultra-modern terminals in the area.
Bounce News gathered that Peace Mass Transit spent close to N400 million on its terminal, which was opened few months ago.
Other transporters affected include Young Shall Grow, Chisco Transport, Ifesinachi Motors and GUO Transport among others.
Some of the transporters lamented their loss of revenue and have also cried out about the policy.
"We have lost millions of naira in just these few days they prevented our buses from loading in Jibowu. If this continues, it simply means the investments here will go to waste, and the staff will have to be laid off”, one of the operators told Bounce News.
On allegations by the state government that activities of the operators had not been tidy and decent despite repeated warnings, another operator said it is a lie.
“He said, it is very wrong for the government to generalize in that way. Some of the operators here have organized terminals, and conduct their business without spilling it into the road. Everything is confined to their terminal as they have ample space.”
“If some are constituting themselves into a nuisance, government has regulatory agencies that can address such issues, instead of bringing down their hammer on everyone. It’s being very insensitive, and inhumane", he stated.
Bounce News observed that some of the operators have found a way round the ban.
This is because inter-state transporters operating from other parts of the state are not yet affected by the policy.
Some of them still use their loading terminals in Jibowu as booking offices. Passengers who booked through these offices are directed to join their buses at other parks.
Most of the transporters have offices on Murtala Mohammed Way, Moshalasi and Ojulegba.
It is not only the operators that are lamenting, other business owners affected by the relocation order are gnashing their teeth.
A food vendor, who identified herself as Gloria, told Bounce News the relocation order has ended her source of livehood.
“This last four days have been very difficult for me. There are no passengers coming to buy food. We are not the ones causing hold up like the government is saying. I pay my tax and this is bad business,” she said.
Bounce News visited the secretariat of the Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON) at Hebert Macaulay, Yaba to seek the opinion of the body on the matter. ALBON is the umbrella body of interstate bus operators in the country.
Secretary General of association, Ralph Eke, who spoke to our correspondent on phone bemoaned the action of government.
He said the association will make an official statement on Friday.
Bounce News also visited the Ojota Motor Park, where the buses at Jibowu have been directed to relocate to.
It was gathered that some of the bus operators now in Jibowu were actually operating at Ojota Motor Park before they were chased away by state authorities under the leadership of former governor, Bola Tinubu.
The park, which occupies a large space of land, is currently being dominated by commercial buses headed to other states in the South-west.
A visit round the place showed that contrary to claims by the government that it has made necessary arrangements for those coming in from Jibowu, there is nothing on ground.
Ambo ooo! Eko Oni Baje