By Mary Agidi
Ondo state government yesterday flagged off the Natonal Union of Road Transport Workers Passengers’ Transit Welfare Scheme aimed at ensuring the safety of passengers and providing insurance cover for them.
The scheme, an initiative of the union entails the mandatory use of the Passenger’s Manifest by every driver loading at every park across the state with the remittion of the sum of N100 from the usual transportation fare paid by each passenger to the insurance company.
Flagging off the initiative, the State Governor, Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, highlighted the benefits of the scheme to include, creating database for all motor parks, creating a database in which records of passengers and drivers are captured in the form of manifest to give easy room for identification in case of a road crash.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, the governor further said the implementation of the scheme will discourage the unwholesome practice of picking up passengers by the road side and encourage people to use designated parks while traveling.
He added that the scheme will also guarantee insurance cover for victims of accidents as well as promoting the securityof people by checking the incidences of kidnapping among others.
He however thanked members of the NURTW for the support given the administration so far and appealed for their sustained support to enable his administration deliver more developmental projects in the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of NURTW, Comrade Jacob Adebo noted that the aim of the project is to prevent being kidnapped by unknown drivers and ability to identify victims of accidents.
Addressing the union members he urged them to ensure that passengers fill the manifest when they load in the parks.
He explained that passengers are not to pay extra amount on the usual transportation fare, warning that any driver who indulge in inflating price using the scheme as an excuse for such act will be punished.
The NURTW boss affirmed that the scheme is not a government idea, but the union’s, and warned passengers to avoid taking lift while traveling but to rather go to the parks for safety purposes.
The Special Adviser to the governor on Transportation, Barrister Tobi Ogunleye who commended the initiative of the union said it is high time victims of accidents enjoyed insurance cover, adding that the culture of boarding vehicles at the right parks will be emplaced.
He therefore enjoined passengers to embrace the scheme which is aimed to bring enormous benefits to them.
The Deputy Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, (FRSC) and Head of Operation unit in Ondo State, Mr Olusegun Ogungbemide, said if NURTW is not in support of any policy that has to do with transportation, it won’t succeed and therefore expressed happiness that the state union supported the scheme saying it has failed in other states as a result of the failure of NURTW in these states.
The representative of the Underwriter, Aadvel Consults & Associates, Dr Isaac Ogidi commended the union chairman for keying into the scheme as done by other states in the South Eastern part of the country.
He noted that the scheme would further add value to the image of the state, and assured that the Consulting firm will render 100% policy service to the project.
Other dignitaries in attendance were the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Ayo Igbasan, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Bunmi Alade, the Special Adviser to the governor on Union Matters, Mr. Alaba Isijola, Special Adviser on Political Matter Mr Tunji Ifabiyi among others.
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