BRT Buses: Despite Monopoly, Other Advantages, Fola Tinubu, Primero Boss Lamemts He’s Struggling To Stay Afloat
Mr Fola Tinubu, the Managing Director of Primero Transport Services, operators of Blue Buses plying dedicated Bus Rapid Transport, BRT route from Ikorodu to TBS has lamented that the company has been struggling to stay afloat despite the monopoly and other benefits it solely enjoys.
The Blue BRT scheme which will be three years in operation this November had been marred with mismanagement, ineffectiveness under the watch of Tinubu despite leveraging volume, dedicated route, non-harassment from transport unions, LASTMA and other law enforcement agencies and willing huge ready market.
Speaking on Saturday Sunrise on Channels Television, the Primero Transport Services boss said he has been struggling to maintain and run profitably the fleet of over 400 buses launched in November 2015.
He complained that the Lagos State Government capped the revenue of the company due to the social nature of transport sector despite Primero being ‘completely-private owned’.
Meanwhile, contrary to the claims of Tinubu, COMPLETE NEWS can authoritatively report that the scheme reviewed its fares upward in February 2017. The fares were hiked from N70-N100 (Ikorodu-Mile 12), N120-200(Ikorodu -Fadeyi), N195 – 300 (Ikorodu -TBS).
Findings by this medium revealed that Tricycles operators, popularly called Keke-Marwa plying Agric-Asolo corridor in Ikorodu area of Lagos maintained N50 fare despite extortions from unions, Police, LASTMA and others.
Tinubu complained further that he had import spareparts for the Yutong Chinese manufactured buses which most times take long time to arrive adding also that the cost of Diesel which hovers between N165 and N260 also affect the efficiency of the scheme.
Asked why Primero stopped the free ride during yuletide to appreciate commuters who had been loyal to the company, Tinubu said the free ride affects company’s bottomline noting that Primero will lose N20 million naira revenue.
COMPLETE NEWS observed that the scheme had been almost comatose under Tinubu’s watch. This medium gathered that inspite making an average of N40 million Naira daily, the company owed diesel suppliers who now insisted that the company must pay immediately fuel is dispensed.
The driver and other workers’ welfare is poor, it was gathered. “There were occasions when salaries were owed and other incentives we earlier enjoyed abruptly stopped.
“Yet, we rake in millions daily. You can see huge queue and precious man-hour wasted by commuters while waiting for buses. The management, just to maximize profit, deploys few buses because they know commuters have no choice than to stand if seats are occupied.
“The air-conditioners usually fail when the buses are filled beyond capacity. We are gradually going back to the Molue (rickety big buses that were phased out in Lagos years back) era, a middle-aged male driver told COMPLETE NEWS at Ikorodu”.