By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Government on Tuesday urged Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) to collaborate with the National Agency for Mass Literacy to establish leaning centres for hawkers as well as its members.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, made the call at the 10th National Delegates Conference, Abuja 2023 of RTEAN, held at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, in Abuja.
“When I sometimes visit parks in company of family, I still see young children; girls and boys hawking when they should be in school. Yet your members turn blind eyes to such scenarios.
“In some cases, these children become victims of exploitation and abuse.
”And because they are powerless, they have no voice and are afraid to report, so the cycle of abuse continues. Even women have reported such abuses in the parks.
“I want to appeal to the leadership of RTEAN to work with the National Agency for Mass Literacy to set up learning centres in the parks.
“This will support both adult learning by your members and young hawkers in and around the parks,” she said.
Tallen commended the National President of RTEAN, Dr Musa Maitakobi, for protecting passengers against touts, thugs and other unwholesome behaviors in and around motor parks across the country.
She urged the leadership of the association to constantly enlighten its members on other issues bothering on Gender Based Violence (GBV) which are often witnessed in motor parks.
Earlier, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dauda Biu, enjoined the leadership of RTEAN to discourage its members from frequent night journeys due to its attendant implications.
Represented by the Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, Biu said the relationship between the FRSC and RTEAN had been cordial under the current president.
“He has been very cooperative and the organisation is one of the excellent organised road transport unions in Nigeria.
“In as much as we cannot stop night journeys, we appeal that drivers should try to avoid night journeys because of its hazards, including assistance that usually comes late to victims.”
The Registrar, Trade Unions, Mr Falonipe Amos, advised the association to ensure that all its activities are in line with the constitution, and commended Maitakobi for the achievements RTEAN recorded in the last few years, especially in the maintenance of industrial peace and harmony in that sector.
”These achievements will not have been possible without a proactive and pragmatic leadership that is committed to doing things with the future of your association in mind,” he said.
In his acceptance speech, the newly-reelected National President of RTEAN, Maitakobi, called on the incoming government of Sen. Bola Tinubu to give priority attention to the transportation sector.
He urged members of the association to embrace digitisation and accept new policies that seek to improve transportation sector, which was the “mover of the nation’s economy”.
He thanked members of RTEAN for reelecting him as the executive national president, saying “my election has given me more comfort that my policies and administration are acceptable”.
Maitakobi, therefore, promised to consolidate on the achievements recorded during his first administration from October, 2020, to date.
“We have done our best even though our best was not enough, but we moved the association from one step to another. We were able to get a permanent National Secretariat in Abuja.
“We initiated the Traveler Accident Insurance Scheme (TAIS) which serves as an emergency rescue support in terms of accidents and activated our affiliation with the International Public Transport Organisation.
“We conducted elections in 31 states of the federation and Abuja, created allowances for National Executive Members and revalidated our membership cards across the country.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the 10th national delegates conference was the administrating of the Oath of Office to newly-elected National Executives Committee of the association.
NAN reports that the new executives will steer the affairs of the RTEAN for the next five years. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Vincent Obi