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Welcome Address by The Managing Director, Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company (AUMTCO) Abdulrazaq Oniyangi at The Commissioning of 100 High Capacity FCT Sure-P City Buses for AUMTCO On 27 May 2014

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I seek your kind indulgence to say a few words about Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO).

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In the year 2010 when the Hon. Minister of the FCT, Sen. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed assumed office, AUMTCO was virtually on the verge of liquidation. ?The two private high capacity bus operators; Nationwide Unity Transport and Sonic Global Transport who were granted route concessions had ceased operations due to an extremely difficult operating environment.?

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The Hon. Minister personally intervened to broker a settlement with AUMTCO’s creditors, re-built the company on a permanent site, appointed a new management and provided funding for the refurbishing of the old buses that had long been abandoned. ?

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In February 2012, the Hon. Minister increased the fleet size by 200 high capacity buses through the Federal Government SURE-P Program. The company consequently achieved a daily ridership of about 60,000 passengers. ?With the commissioning of these 100 buses today, the fleet size of AUMTCO is now 392 buses and a projected daily ridership of about 100,000 passengers. This administration has given AUMTCO a new lease of life and we are full of gratitude. ?We shall continue to work tirelessly to provide a more efficient and reliable service. ?

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Under this new management the company has gone through a process of restructuring. ?We have decentralized fuelling for better efficiency and to reduce waste. ?Adopting a BOT concession model, we have automated the process of washing the buses. ?Through a technical assistance from DFID’s, Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Fund (NIAF) we have worked closely with international bus experts in the areas of operational planning and maintenance to enhance the capacity of our staff in order to improve service delivery. We have improved on our ticketing system by introducing pre-paid ticket with security features and electronic ticketing equipment are presently being installed in our buses in the process of migrating to an electronic ticketing system. ?This will further improve customers experience and reduce loss of revenue.

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There has been significant improvement in recruitment and training of our drivers, we have zero tolerance for reckless driving. ?We involve the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the recruitment process. ?It is however necessary for AUMTCO to have an in-house driver’s training school in order to train drivers straight from secondary school before they acquire the wrong attitudes which are often difficult to change. ?Plan is in progress towards this.

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I will like to seize this opportunity to plead with law enforcement agencies to stop impounding AUMTCO’s buses. ?We understand that drivers must be sanctioned for traffic violations and we are willing to take responsibility to produce such drivers to face sanctions. ?But when mass transit buses are impounded, it reduces availability of buses and reliability of service. ?It is the passengers that are often made to suffer especially when they are forced to disembark in order to impound the bus. This practice of impounding urban transport buses is not done anywhere else in the world where public transportation is planned and organized.?

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AUMTCO is presently the major High capacity bus operator in the FCT on the basis of its fleet capacity, routes and ridership. ?As a matter of fact, AUMTCO is the only organized intra-city bus service company in the FCT. ?Its services are therefore highly essential to the smooth running of this city and the well being of its residents.

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With the introduction of these modern city buses the FCT Administration has raised the standard of urban public transportation not only in the FCT but for the whole country. ?Today, we are all witnesses to the ongoing transformation of public transportation in the Federal Capital Territory. ?The Management and Staff of Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company are proud and privileged to be part of this achievement.

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On behalf of the Management and Staff, I have the honour to welcome you all to this occasion of the commissioning of the 100 high capacity city buses funded by FCT Sure-P.

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Thank you. ? ? ? ?

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