The Ondo State Government in Collaboration with the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) in the state has introduced an insurance welfare package for travellers in the state.
The programme which is called Ondo State Passengers Welfare and Security Transit Scheme will be launched on Tuesday September 4th,2018 and will be handled by an insurance firm.
Addressing a press conference on Friday in Akure,the Ondo State capital. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, Tobi Ogunleye said the scheme was designed basically for the welfare and safety of travellers in the state.
Ogunleye revealed that at every motor parks in the state, passengers would be requested to pay an additional fee of N100 as premium to their transport fees.
He noted that in the events of accident, victims and their relatives would be entitled to some compensation as will be determined by the insurance firm.
The governor’s aide disclosed that the scheme would also ensure security of lives of travellers as it would put an end to road side loading by commercial drivers.
Ogunleye added that it would now become an offense for drivers to carry passengers along the road.
“If you notice in recent times, the menace of highway ritual killings and kidnapping is rampant and most of the victims always accuse the drivers’ union of complicity.
“This is what actually inform the road transport workers to bring this initiative in order to watch their image clean of the accusations of this unwarranted situation. That is the basic background of the scheme.
“Most important is the question of safety and security of passengers. The idea of writing and keeping manifest at various motor parks has been for fun.
“What this scheme as being embraced by the Ondo State government through the ministry of Transportation is for, is that we want to see how to ensure lives of our passengers from these motor parks.”
Explaining that the scheme is not about the money, he said,
“Apart from data gathering, this scheme will be backed with an insurance cover of reasonable fee of a token of N100 from Ondo State and if you are coming to the state from another state, N100. It is not about the money but about the safety in case of any accident.
“It was the initiatives of the NURTW in the state and we believe apart from writing the names of passengers at the parks, it has to be backed by insurance cover. They now have an understanding with a private insurance company and they brought it to the government and we studied the proposal very well. We weighed the pros and cons and in order to ensure sincerity to the scheme, that in case of the any accident when the passengers had paid the premuim, they will now sit down and see how claims and right of people are given even when they are no more in life because it covers life and permanent disability and minor injuries. This N100 per passenger per trip covers everything. It is not the making of the government.
“You know if transports people increased their fees, we will just grumble because it is more or less a monopolistic business, if you don’t have a private vehicle.
“I want to commend the leadership of the NURTW for this great initiatives because it is not that they are increasing fare but it is for value. The benefit is boldly written on the tickets.
“The fundamental reason why the state government keyed into this is that the governemt is concern about the welfare and safety of the people, by implication it is going to be an offense for anybody that wants to go through commercial means out of Ondo State to be standing along the road. Any vehicle that picks people along the road without the manifest will be impounded. We are also working with the Federal Road Safey Corps
“It is now mandatory if you are travelling to go to the parks. For us to know your destination. Your family must know.
“We want to advise all travellers not to lay more emphasis on the N100 rather the importance and their safety. For all vehicles covered with this scheme and involved in accident, the victims are entitled to claims and brokers of Ondo state will protect all the supposed beneficaries. It is not that we are praying for deaths or accident, we can’t take away accident on the road but we want to mitigate it.”
Also speaking, the Principal Partner of the Insurance scheme, Aadel Consults and Associates, Dr. Isaac-Tony Ogidi said the firm is partnering with the government and the NURTW to ensure safety of passengers in the state.
“We have been doing in other state. It is designed to ensure that passengers have a kind of security. In essence, the premium paid will give the passengers a sense of security in case of any accident, that there will be a relief and incase of deaths, though no amout can equate to life but we will give the family something that will assauge them from emotional relief.
“For security, People travel writing fake names of next of kins just to fulfil the righteousness. We have designed it that immediately you are entering the parks, you will receive an alert and even your next of kin will get the alert that Mr. X is making a trip from here to there. You’re are covered in such trips,” he said.