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Monday, 14 August 2017 21:04

THE NIGHTMARE OF TRANSPORT SERVICES IN NIGERIA Featured

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The state of road transportation in Nigeria is far from delivering the needed experience desired by commuters. It suffices to state that taxi services in Nigeria has failed to impress commuters over the years despite the growing demand for improved services. The present state of taxi and public road transportation system in Nigeria depicts the lack of creativity by those saddled with the responsibility of managing the sector. Vast majority of Nigerians rely on road transport services, yet the experience delivered to citizens is nothing near excellence.

Across the world, especially in developed economies, the taxi service plays a major role in delivering superb experiences to consumers as well aid in advancing the tourist potential of that economy. The state of professionalism deployed into road transport management in developed economies not only ensures safety for commuters, it has aided in the innovation of the sector.

In Nigeria, the challenges commuter’s face in the hands of taxi drivers are simply agonizing thus making taxi services very poor. The absence of an acceptable standard has led to the poor services experienced. So many of the public transport or taxi drivers are very rude and lack the courtesy needed to be engaged in the business.

There have been numerous cases of commuters who have been victims of armed robbery, rape and murder committed by taxi drivers. The phobia for taxi services in Nigeria is very high. Very few Nigerians can boast of over 20% confidence in the taxi services on offer.

In order for there to be safety in the taxi business, standards would have to be established that will guide the operations of taxi drivers. Commuters do not deserve to be cramped into vehicles like baked beans is packed into a container. There should be a standard for who should be a taxi driver and what trainings they have to undergo, the type of vehicle to be used as well as the routes to ply.

Taxi drivers need to be adequately trained to offer efficient services to commuters. The rate at which unregistered individuals per take in the taxi business only posses a threat to commuters safety. Just like every consumer product ought to be certified safe, every taxi must be certified safe before any commuter boards it.

Every taxi should have a registered and verifiable car number, car color and the driver should have an ID card that matches his or her face. The face of the driver behind the wheels should match the face on the central data base. Commuters are free to ask questions before boarding. It is economically beneficial when taxi service standards are made available within a society. Before an individual is offered a taxi license, there should be series of investigations and trainings the individual should be subjected to.

The population of Nigerians in need of excellent road transportation services exposes the gap in the taxi industry. Getting it right will demand a laid down road map that is flexible. The standard procedure in the taxi sector should be one that sets the standards for operation. Within the set standards, certain taxi companies should be allowed to bid for the processes to offer efficient taxi services. These companies will be subjected to recruit and train only eligible candidates for the job.

Government should set up a standards board that will consistently be charged to ensure conformity with approved standard expectations. From a random interview we carried out, 100 passengers were interviewed in order to measure commuter’s confidence in taxi service safety. It will surprise you to note that 74% admitted they felt unsafe boarding taxis in Nigeria largely because of insecurity and the discomfort. To mitigate against the negative fears of consumers, government needs to reform the transport and taxi service sector. There is no doubt that excellence in taxi service delivery is a necessity and a measure of a nation’s capacity to purposefully evolve its developmental processes and experience.

Science and technology is advancing consumer’s use of taxi services. All states of the federation should have a central data base in which commuters can verify taxi drivers. A mobile app should be made available for the management of taxi services.  Nigeria deserves to offer better taxi services to all consumers in Nigeria. The taxi service is a source for national tourism in Nigeria. Let’s make our taxi service worthwhile.   

Chukwuemeka Amoji Okoro

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