Primero: One year of operational excellence
Primero Transport Limited (operators of the blue BRT buses) has rolled out the drums to celebrate one year of its operations. The company began operations in November 2015 and currently has 434 buses in its fleet with over 2,000 staff. Speaking at a brief ceremony in its Majidun Operational Headquarters, Mr. Fola Tinubu, the Managing Director of the firm expressed his joy and appreciation to the people and government of Lagos State for facilitating the operational excellence of the company despite daunting challenges.
Bemoaning challenges confronting the operational effectiveness of the company, Mr. Tinubu lamented that Naira losing its value has been a major issue for them as it has made their operating cost to go up. For example, the cost of diesel has really gone up and the cost of tyres, lubricants as well as spare parts has also risen astronomically. “The Naira losing its value has changed the whole scenario for us and Lagos state government has been reluctant to allow us to increase our fares because of Governor Akinwumi Ambode’s care for the masses and general understanding of the situation in the country. We are only asking for a reasonable fare increase because we understand the social aspect of our business but we have to take care of the rising cost of our operations.
Mr. Tinubu however pointed out that despite the challenges; the company is poised to change the paradigm of transportation in the country. He further said that in the coming year, the company plans to build a multi storey car park in Ikorodu where people can park their cars and ride with their buses. The idea according to him is to encourage people to ride in public transportation. “The company is very bullish about Lagos we equally plan to develop apartments and town houses in Ikorodu to attract people to come and live in the area. Above all, in the coming year, Primero will start assembling their buses in Nigeria” he emphasized.
Mr. Ojelabi who represented the Managing Director of LAMATA enjoined Primero to improve their operations and unveil their e-ticketing platform so that waiting time at the bus shelters will be reduced to the barest minimum. He confirmed that in line with the Lagos state transport master plan, construction work will soon begin at the Oshodi – Abule Egba BRT corridor.
The highlight of the ceremony was the groundbreaking ceremony of the classroom blocks for Majidun Junior Grammar school donated by the firm. The “Ayangburen of Ikorodu”, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, who performed the groundbreaking, appreciated the company for its kind gesture and expressed his happiness because Primero wants to give back to the community. “We are indeed happy and appreciate them, hence, the reason you see all the traditional rulers here to witness such a magnificent thing the company wants to do for Ikorodu division. We want to thank the management of Primero, especially the Managing Director, Mr. Fola Tinubu,’’ he said.
The monarch also eulogized the Lagos State Government for its effort in improving the standard of education in the state. Other traditional rulers who graced the occasion are the Olubese of Ibese, Oba Richard Ogunsanya; the Ranodu of Imota, Oba Ajibade Agoro and the Obateru of Egbin, Oba Adeoriyomi Oyepo among others.