By Afeez Mojoyinola, Odugbo Alapa, Oluwadamilare Jesuferanmi, Oluwatoyin Ibrahim, Olayiwola Toheeb and Toyinbo Olumide
The management of University of Ibadan has officially banned commercial Motorcycle operations on campus as from June 30, 2019 and has replaced it with tricycle.
This was made known in the memorandum released by the University of Ibadan Intra-campus Transport Committee(ICTC) titled Registration of Commercial Transport Operators for the 2nd Half of the Year, July- December, 2019.
According to the report, those who are eligible to obtain the screening form include: cars for drop, bus and tricycle operators.
The Chairman of the Intra-Campus Transport Committee, Professor Olufemi Adegbesan, when reached via a phone call stated that the development is not new and thus the motorcyclists knew about it beforehand.
“The plan to take out motorcycles has been on ground before I came on board in October. The commercial bike operators knew about the development about a year ago. “
He further stated that the management gave the motorcyclists the opportunity to raise money for the tricycle, but that many of the them did not take it serious, as UI Microfinance Bank briefed them on how they could get it.
“When I came on board, we decided to give them time and opportunity to raise money for the tricycle. The bike-men were even surprised we gave them the opportunity because we allowed 180 operators. But many of them did not take us serious, they thought it was just normal interrogation”.
“UI Microfinance Bank even briefed them on how they can go about it for them to acquire the tricycle”
Thereafter, when asked if some of the motorcyclists had got theirs, he affirmed some had already and that those who can not afford the university’s could bring in theirs from outside but on the condition that it must be good and new.
“Well, some have got their tricycles already. I am aware of that. But it is not a must they get it from UI Microfinance Bank. The tricycles must just be in good condition. Also, they must be ready to brand it in UI’s colour for security reasons.”
He concluded that the development is not peculiar to UI alone, as some other schools are not using motorcycle.
“We are not doing anything strange or new, many school already incorporated that, we have University of Benin, University of Maiduguri, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Lagos, OOU amongst others. It is not only UI.
However, through a further chat with him, he gave no reason on why the management took that decision, for he said It is for the good of our campus.
On the other hand, the Chairman of Commercial Motorcyclists on campus, Mr Lasisi commended the efforts of the management in upgrading them from using two wheels to three wheels.
“We are happy about it. They are upgrading us and the system, from two wheels to three wheels”
He, however, lamented on the amount they were asked to deposit to get the tricycle and its mode of payment, as he said his members claimed they had no money to buy it and that, even if they agreed to get the tricycle by paying in installment, there are many risks involved.
“The sad part of it is the amount they are planning to release the tricycle and the mode of payment. I have spoken with my members, they said they have no money and no means of getting such huge amount.
“Many of us spend the money we earn daily, we don’t bring it the next day. They asked us to bring a deposit of #150,000, to UI Microfinance Bank. They want to give us the vehicle at the rate of #900,000 which we can pay in installments, whether daily, weekly and monthly.
“We think that there are many risks involved, for example, when the school is not in session and when there is strike, so, how can we pay them in such time?
“They said if we default in one or two installments the vehicle is gone and the money paid earlier.”
When asked if it is compulsory to get the tricycle from the UI Microfinance Bank, he said the school management made it a must, for they wanted new tricycles so as to make transportation safe.
“They told us we could only buy it from them because they wanted new ones to make transportation safe”
“We pleaded that they reduce the deposit for us, from #150,000, to #100,000 or less. They said they will get back to us on Monday.”
Meanwhile, other bike-men who pleaded to be anonymous begged the management to reverse their decision, as they live on that job.
–“We cannot do anything but to plead with the management to reverse their decision, for it is this job many of us use to cater for our families. We’ve spent many years here so it won’t be easy for us to cope with way things are done outside. Even if we want to get tricycle, we cannot afford 900,000. The problem with tricycle is taking students to the exact place they are heading to, in fact, taking them to their doorsteps seems impracticable, as it is only bike that can do that. ”
–“We cannot do anything than to beg the management to change their decision, for we’re nothing as far as decision making of this school is concerned. Some of us got the motorcycle on credit; we’re yet to pay and we didn’t foresee that such decision would come up, for if we had known, we wouldn’t have got it.”
In UCJUI interview with the students, some of them expressed their opinions on the new development:
–“I don’t think it will have a good effect. Students bank on bikes to get to their destination faster and you don’t have to wait for the full load of bike, just a passenger, before it takes off.
As I guess the maruwa will operate with the same modus operandi as cars because maruwa cannot just go to any random place like motorcycle.”- SHITTU Nasrullah, 200 level, physiology.
–“It is quite unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this kind of situation where the managements make decisions without involving the students. This policy is anti-student because it will make us to go through more stress. However, most lecturers have their cars and will find their way in anytime they like. I’m very sure those tricycles will not be allowed to work from around 9pm or 10pm and imagine someone staying in Awo coming from gate by that time. So a student going to Awo or quarters (in Benue road and the likes) will have to trek at night. Or will there be bus stop in such area? Not all all! In fact, life is going to be very hard for students with this decision.” — Olanrewaju Olansile, former Mellanby Hall chairman.
–“No, it’s not a good idea, Perhaps, if they come out with their reasons for the replacement of commercial motorcycle with Tricycle, the clouds may be cleared and people may look at the issue from their own angle of sight towards it. It will have a negative effect on the students, the operators and even UI community at large.
To start with, when the number of these motorcycles were reduced, transport from one point to another within the campus became a bit difficult because cabs only move from gate to specific locations. So moving from faculty of science to college of medicine is only through these motorcycles and their reduction made them a scarce commodity.
If their reduction can have such effect, how about replacing them completely with tricycle which will be far more expensive in purchase relative to motorcycle indicating that the number of available tricycle will even be more fewer than before. The effect will be catastrophic to the muscles in the legs of students!” — SULAIMON Mubarak, 400 Level, Chemistry.