Alhaji Abdulganiyu Omoola Ibrahim is the chairman Association of Independent Transporters (AIT). In this interview with MIKE ADEYEMI and TUNDE RUFAI, he speaks on how AIT has evolved overtime in Nigeria and new infinitive of Kwara State Government in moving motorists to a new pack. Excerpts:
What are your plans as a new chairman of Association of Independent Transporter (AIT)?
The safety of our motors matters most before putting it on the road. So we are here to ensure proper training of our drivers. The AIT was my initiative. In fact, I went single-handedly to get it registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). It is now that my name is about to be incorporated into the Board of Trustees (BoT). I was just re-elected as chairman and assumed office few weeks ago having served my first three years tenure. If not for AIT intervention, other commercial motorist would have placed passengers on arbitrary changes in Kwara State. Here at KASMAG, virtually all corporate people in Kwara State plight our motors to their various destinations.
How do you think AIT can be re-positioned?
I’m thinking how we can move to the next level, and that can be much helped if the government can assist us.
In what ways do you thing the government can help?
If government can give us loan, it would go a long way to boost our business. That is the practises in the advanced countries. If the Kwara State Government can assist us with loans, surely we will not defaults the government.
Recently, Kwara State Government ordered motorist loading along the road to a designated park. What would you say about this?
The government did not tamper with us. AIT’s have their parks and I’m the first person to obtained packing permits in Kwara State. The regulation did not in any way affect us. So we at AIT support the government on the laudable step taken.
What is your advice to AIT members on the need to abide by government regulations?
As you know, all fingers are not equal. My advice to my subjects and members is to be more responsible. We should endeavour to do the needful in terms of meeting up with the statutory laws that bounds our job.
Are you saying there are no pirates amongst your members?
Yes. There are some that hide under the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), but our own drivers registered in Abuja. AIT started in Ilorin before it went to other states in Nigeria. I’m using this medium to appeal to the Kwara State Government to aid our business for optimal service delivery.
Is there any time that taxes from Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) poses a burden for your members?
At a time we were charged N3,000 per driver in a year. We pleaded with them for a reduction which the agency obliged by reducing it for N1,500. KWIRS raked over 100,000 per a motor park in a year and at KASMAG, I have over 100 drivers. So if you calculates this, our motor park alone remitted around N150,000 to the revenue agent. We have cleared that of last year charges and our members have been doing their best to ensure that they perform their fiscal obligations to the Kwara State Government.
Do you have any periodic orientations for KASMAG drivers?
Yes, I subjected all my drivers to attend seminars and lecturers as an avenue to boost their productivity virtually on every day all geared to meet up with the dynamics in the transportation industry.
What would you say has sustained KASMAG till date?
The secret is that we are diligent to work and we adhere strictly to the rules that govern our operations. I have travelled to many countries outside Nigeria and I have seen what the practise is over there which is a replica of what we are doing at KASMAG. In a nutshell, diligence is our watchword.