Home Opinion Policy Implementation, Oyo State Park Management And Transport Unions | Akinyemi Akinlabi

Policy Implementation, Oyo State Park Management And Transport Unions | Akinyemi Akinlabi

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I will like us to digress from the trending global issue of COVID-19 back to the park management matter which has been relegated to the back burner of Oyo state public discussion. This is the first time I will be commenting publicly on any public issues since the advent of the present administration in Oyo state. I have avoided commenting on this issue before now.

In the first instance, the introduction of park managers in Oyo state is novel, progressive and commendable. In fact there was a time we tried to start it during the last administration but it was not successful. It will be a marvel innovation if it can be successfully implemented by the present administration. However, the government needs to know that the transport unions are principal stakeholders in this undertaken. Their participation and cooperation is very germane for the success of the park management policy. Naturally, people try to prevent and restrict change even if it’sdesigned for their betterment. This seems to be the present condition of the transport unions’ couple with the proscription of their unions. Ideally, they should have ushered in the park management policy instead of rejecting it.

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One common problem among those of us holding public positions is that sometimes we either introduce a good policy badly or introduce a good policy without adequate public enlightenment and public readiness. In this present scenario, I am of the view that Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration is introducing a good policy without adequate public enlightenment and again badly. Sometimes, we also destroy good policies with the choice of people to implement it. Providing solution to these two vital issues should make the park management policy acceptable to not only the transport unions but the entire populace.

Frankly speaking, the responsibilities of park managers should be clearly different from the responsibilities of the transport unions. Both institutions need to exist together in every motor park in Oyo state for the laudable dream of the governor about the parks to be realized. I will like to use the next few paragraphs to articulate what the functions of either organizations or institutions are supposed to be.

The fact remains that all motor parks in Oyo state are owned by local governments. Local governments built all these parks and also have the responsibilities to maintain them. In the light of these, the governments are like the landlords of the parks who have the responsibilities of collecting rent to maintain the parks, to recoup the cost of constructing it and to provide adequate laws to ensure safety of the motorists, road users, commuters and the unionists at the park. Successive administrations have lacked in these responsibilities. Hence, the administration of various parks in Nigeria have been grossly abused and mismanaged. This is why the foresight of this administration should be commended in this regard.

On the other hand, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and other such organizations are trade unions like Nigeria Bar Association, Nigeria Medical Association and co whose main objectives are to promote the interest of their individual members. They don’t have any right to take over any park or public institutions, they have no right to disobey government orders and the government has no right to proscribe them unless they become a threat to people’s life and property as they used to be years back.

In view of the present animosity between the two institutions in Oyo state, the government has to go a step further by bringing the two institutions together. Government should make both active and exist pari pasu. Clear and well defined responsibilities of both institutions should be articulated to include some of the items listed below:

Park Managers

1) Construction of Motor Parks
2) Collection of all government taxes, rates and levies at the park for the local governments.
3) Regular repair and maintenance of parks
4) Ensuring that vehicles are registered to use the park
5) Ensuring that motors registered to use the parks are physically and mechanically  road worthy
6) Ensuring that motors registered to use the parks have up to date registration, insurance and road worthiness
7) Provisions of adequate toilets and conveniences at the park
8) Ensuring that only drivers with adequate licensesmake use of the parks
9) Ensuring that no alcohol is sold within the premises of our motor parks
10) Proper remittance and accountability of funds collected to the various local governments

 

The Transport Workers Union’s (RTEAN and NURTW)

1) Protection of the interest of their members
2) To transform the union to professional status like other trade unions
3) Regular and periodic training of their members to be law abiding and compliance with all local, state and federal laws
4) Collection of membership dues from their members
5) Periodic meetings with law enforcement officers like Police, Road Safety, VIO in the interest of their members
6) Providing required assistance to members in hardship ( like soft loans to repair motors, to buy or fix accident motors)
7) Provision of adequate security and safety for the lives and properties of commuters and road users
8) Periodic meetings with park managers to request for specific needs for the parks and their members.
9) Periodic accounting for money received and spent on behalf of the Union
10) Representing the union at Nigeria LaborCongress (NLC) to further the interest of their members

The innovation being brought to Oyo state transport union by the governor should be acceptable to all and sundry if adequate public enlightenment and education are put in place while also extending hand of friendship and partnership to the leadership of the union. Just as the government has not gotten involved in the unions of NULGE, NBA, NMA and in fact NLC, Oyo state NURTW and RTEAN should be un-proscribed and allowed to function within the armpit of the union’s constitution and the state laws.

 

Akinyemi Akinlabi

Former Caretaker Chairman

Ibarapa Central Local Government, Igboora

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