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Only 5% of commercial drivers in Cross River are trained, says commissioner

Ekpenyong Cobham, commissioner for transport in Cross River, says only five percent of commercial drivers in the state are trained and certified.

NAN reports that Cobham said this in Calabar on Monday while reacting to the recent protest by minibus drivers in the state.

Some commercial minibus operators had protested the state government’s directive to paint their vehicles in a uniform colour.

During the protest, the drivers described the decision of the government as “harsh and exploitative”. 

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Cobham defended the uniform colour directive, citing security and aesthetic reasons.

He added that the security coding is an existing law that enables law enforcement to identify the owner of a vehicle and not just the driver.

The commissioner added that the cost of the security coding registration has been reduced from N80,000 to N51,400.

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“Security coding is a law that has existed in the state since 2021. It is to enable the ministry identify the owners of vehicles and not just the drivers,” Cobham said. 

“This issue was discussed with the drivers before the cost was reduced from N80,000 to N51,400.”

He said many commercial drivers in the state flagrantly disobey traffic laws because they lack the requisite training and certification.

“It is sad that we have many commercial transport operators that are not professionals but transitory drivers,” he said. 

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“Many of them were motorcycle riders who moved to riding tricycles before becoming bus drivers. They do not have drivers’ licence. Some of them that have licences did not go through driving tests.” 

Cobham also faulted successive governments “for concentrating heavily on revenue generation without giving attention to safety and regulations”.

He emphasised that the state government is committed to restoring order and improving safety within the public transportation system.

 

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