Investigations by The Nigerian Observer have revealed that some commercial bus drivers in Benin City drive around town with no side mirrors, and sometimes with one-sided mirrors and without indicators, a development that if allowed to continue could endanger the lives of motorists and other road users.
Majority of the bus drivers that the Nigerian Observer interacted with stated that tax force officials operating within the city are mostly responsible for the destruction of their side mirrors, adding that loading passengers at the Ring Road without paying for ticket will lead to forceful enforcement of fines including destruction of side mirrors by task force officials. The ticket cost ranges from N1000 to N1600 per day.
According to our findings, the fastest and easiest way for the tax collectors to get the drivers’ attention when they fail to pay for the daily ticket is by destroying their vehicles, especially side mirrors, rather than chasing them to pay the union dues.
One of the drivers who did not want his name published revealed that the cost of a ticket at the Central Park every day is N1600. He said that assuming the drivers don’t have money for the ticket, the union won’t allow them to work for the day.
For the reason that passengers barely enter the Central Park as they prefer entering buses around Ring Road, bus drivers that patronise the Central Park make barely two trips per day.
Another driver revealed that initially, drivers agreed to pay N1600 for daily ticket on the conditions that all buses would be loading inside the Central Park and none would be allowed to carry passengers at Ring Road, but the policy has not been implemented as buses carry passengers more outside the park, thus preventing passengers from coming to the park, which in turn affects the number of trips buses inside the main park make daily.
The majority stated that the ticket cost approved by the union is way too much for the drivers per day.
The bus drivers also stated that the issue of less passengers is a big threat to them, as they appealed to the government to call the union in order to consider reducing the cost of tickets per day.