• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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There’s no tension, looming crisis at Oshodi Transport Interchange – Director of Operations

There’s no tension, looming crisis at Oshodi Transport Interchange – Director of Operations

The management of the Oshodi Transport Interchange (OTI) has said that there was no tension or looming crisis at the interchange.

The clarification was made in a statement signed by Ade Ibileke, director, Operations and Maintenance, Oshodi Transport Interchange.

Refuting a report published by a national daily (not BusinessDay), Ibileke said that “The report erroneously dwelt on the imminent looming crisis at OTI, West Africa’s largest public transport infrastructure built to enable commuters to connect different parts of Lagos and Nigeria without difficulty.

“Contrary to the report, we unequivocally state that there is no tension, looming crisis or any trouble at the Interchange. Commercial activities and transport operations are going on in the interchange seamlessly.”

The director further said: “The interchange has been operating successfully since 2019 without any major incident including fire, robbery, armed attack and the facility was even successfully secured during the #EndSARS crisis in 2020.

“OTI daily caters for over 20,000 passengers with about 45 bus operating companies [National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) – 1, Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON) – 13, Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA) – 18 and LAMATA Franchise bus operating companies (BOC) – 13] and over 70 businesses.

“The basis of the report is a commercial dispute between OTI, ALBON and PTONA, which has been operating at OTI for four consecutive years. This need not draw media attention because we have an internal dispute resolution mechanism solely set up to resolve such an issue. This kind of disagreement is not uncommon in an environment of multiple operators and the prevalent escalating prices in Nigeria.

“The increase in operating expenses and the cost of our critical inputs influenced our decision to review our service charge upward. For instance, the price of diesel has risen by 214 percent from N350 to N1,100; petrol by 255 percent from N169 to N600 and refuse disposal by 130 percent from N 650,000 to N1.5 million.”

In the 13-paragraph release, Ibikele said: “All these operating expenses do not include the costs of facility management (cleaning, cleaning materials, security, etc.), repairs and maintenance costs and other sundry, which have astronomically gone up in recent times.

“It should be noted that discussions commenced with all transport operators at the Interchange on the need to increase charges due to the escalating costs of inputs and increased operational expenses and the need to ensure that the Interchange is able to continue to render transportation and commercial services to the commuting public in a safe and secure environment.

“Some operators under PTONA have had the discussions and negotiations concluded and have resumed transport operations at the OTI. There are other negotiations ongoing with all business partners at the interchange to ensure sustainable and continued operations.

“It is however, surprising to read a report of the looming crisis at the interchange without finding out what happened from the management of the facility. There was never a looming crisis at the interchange, neither is there any crisis currently. The report, thus, is nothing, but a misrepresentation of facts.

“Again, we state that what happened at the interchange is purely a commercial issue, which will be resolved with continued discussions and negotiations with all parties concerned.

“As such, we want to assure all our commuters, general public and all our stakeholders that there is no crisis or tension at the interchange. OTI remains peaceful, safe and secure with utter commitment to serving commuters optimally. We are ever committed to providing excellent transport and commercial activities in a safe, secured and conducive environment on a sustainable basis.”