Victor Adeoba, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Transtura, a transport value chain firm, says he shut down his business, because of the frustration he faced in the hands of government agencies and non-state actors in Lagos as reasons.
Narrating his ordeal in a long post on his LinkedIn page, the entrepreneur said the challenges he had to contend with were “enormous and insurmountable”, citing National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA), the Taskforce, and the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation as throwing spanner in the works of his transport business.
“It was like everyone wanted us to fail for a reason best known to them. We suddenly realised that the NURTW is more powerful than we thought. Their unholy romance with the Lagos Government makes them believe they can get away with anything,” Victor wrote.
Also in the post, Adeoba recounted how NURTW impounded his buses; assaulted his drivers, and his vehicles vandalised by “faceless members of the union” despite collecting over 20% of the business’ revenue daily.
He added that in spite of several reports to the police authority, the ugly incidents still persisted.
Admonishing the Nigeria government, Adeoba said the country cannot become a prosperous one if young people who want to contribute to the country’s success are not encouraged.
Reacting to the viral post, an X user with the handle (@novieverest) said Adeoba’s story “just proved why foreign businesses are pulling out and someone is justifying it.”
Also commenting on the thread on X, Ayowande Adalemo (@wandyvirus), founder and chief executive officer of Atmosherewifi said entrepreneurship is not just about books alone but understanding the business environment and its stakeholders.
“He simply didn’t understand the industry he chose and who the power brokers are. He saw NURTW as louts and a threat instead of collaborators or competitors,” the entrepreneur said.
Adalemo added that one meeting could have changed a lot of things in his favour.
NURTW is a union of transport workers that collects levies from passenger vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles and remit part of it to the government.
According to a statistical report released by International Centre for Investigative Report in 2021, the Lagos State Chapter generates about N123.08bn annually, an amount which could service the annual budget of Nasarawa, Niger, and Yobe states put together
Adeoba’s outburst comes at a time when many other companies are folding up due to the harsh business environment. Business can only thrive well provided that the environment is enabling and supportive.
Businessday reported that Procter & Gamble (P&G), a multinational consumer goods company in Nigeria and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, another multinational company are exiting the country due to a harsh business operation environment.