Ban on mini bus was a blunder- FCT Minister

By Akin Akande, Abuja

Barely 24 hours after he announced the suspension of the ban on operation of mini buses on certain routes, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed has admitted that the administration erred over the decision to ban operation of mini buses in the city.

The Minister who stated this while speaking with journalists after declaring the sensitisation programme on anti corruption for officers of the administration on grade level 17 today admitted that the administration had not done enough sensitisation before the ban.

His words: “We made a mistake and we admit we made a mistake because we did not sensitise the people that this kind of thing will be happening.

So we have decided to suspend it for three weeks to make sure everybody understands what we are doing”.

The Minister however debunked insinuations that the administration had not procured enough buses to drive the policy, saying the administration had over 700 buses but could not risk bringing them out to the road for fear of vandalisation by aggrieved mini bus operators.

“We have many buses but we are scared of bringing them out because of the ‘araba boys’ who throw stones at them.

But now that we have met and discussed with them, we will make arrangement such that the high capacity buses can operate alongside the mini buses as well as the taxis who will operate within the city,” he explained.

Mohammed further stated that the administration was working out modalities to buy more buses which can be given out to drivers on hire-purchase basis to ensure that they are able to meet their needs.