Mr Charles Okey Udeji, the CEO of Okeyson motors and Okeyson group of companies have urged the government to create and enabling environment to help employers of labor and job creators operate well.
He made this plea during an exclusive interview with UGAMATV where he spoke about the challenges transport companies in Nigeria are facing in recent times while also calling on the government to make their job easier.
Speaking with UGAMATV, Okey said one of the issues they were facing was the problem of insecurity on the road which included high way robbers, bandits and herdsmen who waylay their buses on the road and cause havoc
“One of the major problems we have is the deplorable condition of our road. Our roads are so bad that a journey that would have ordinarily taken you five hours can take you twelve hours. So it’s affecting the job, affecting the vehicles and affecting even the workers.
“We are praying that one day politicians will see our plight and help us as it will go a long way in solving our problems. The government should know that we are employers of labor and as such they should assist us so that we can employ more workers because government alone cannot guarantee job employment, it is the private companies that employ workers.
“So if they give us an enabling environment to operate we will be able to employ more people and it will reduce unemployment in the country. The rate at which unemployment is going is the reason we have so many restiveness and crime in the country because so many people are not engaged.
“I know many people that if not because they joined this transport company they would have been highway robbers by now, but since they came here it turned their lives around”, he said.
When asked about the reason why fares increase during the festive season Okey said that the high transport fare is not something they do with the intention of hurting their customers but because it’s the only way at that period to help serve them better.
“We have our people scattered all over the country and some are not living here, during festive period is the only time they come home to see their people, and at times during this period they require like 200 buses per day and the only way we can achieve that is that when those vehicles move, if we move like 200 vehicles to the south east or to any part of the country, because nobody will be coming back to that side as everybody is leaving, the idea is that you have to move those vehicles back empty and you will run the same expenses you did while carrying people. So in order to make up those expenses we add a little money on top of the normal price” Okey said.
Explaining what causes rift at times between transport drivers and passengers at times he said that its impossible to please everyone at the same time, adding that “I accept that at times some drivers can be rude and some transport companies make use of touts which is usually the main cause of the problem in some cases, but when you are serving the public there is nothing you can do to satisfy everybody, and because no two people are the same there will always be difference in opinion.
“But at Okeyson we try our best to make the passengers happy and transport them without problems and that is why we don’t engage the services of touts like few other transport companies do”, he said concluding.