Commercial Bike (Acaba/Okada) Registration–Bauchi State Nigeria in Mind.

On a trip so many years ago to Ghana by road, the Commercial Bikers in Cotonou and Lome amazed us.  They filed orderly along lanes meant just for them and all had visible numbers readable from far on the front and back of their aprons.   They were so organised, that you wonder, if they had high cases of casualties like we do.  Coming home to Nigeria, the emergence of Okada, Acaba or Commercial Bikes was as a result of the down turning of the economy; increase in the population sizes of our towns and cities with the corresponding vehicular traffic issues and Unemployment. 

With so many states banning out rightly the use of motorcycles, with no sustainable alternative(s), is enough for Bauchi State Government to be applauded for the decision to register motorcycle riders in the state.  Suffice to say that every Government have their reasons for decisions taken, but the fact remains that, these class of people are only there because of the service need they provide for.

In Nigeria, Acaba/Okada (motorbike) is associated, (not exhaustive though), with armed robbers, militants, terrorists, kidnappers, bag snatchers, assassins, ritualists, Orthopaedic Hospital and Mortuary service providers  marketers/promoters.

Why is it so? Amongst reasons are:-

1. Most riders are not trained, they learn on the trade.

2. Poverty, it is a very fast way of getting little change to keep body, soul and family together.

3. Joblessness, some riders are graduates with Diplomas, Degrees.  There was a case of a Masters Degree graduate in Abuja, before the El-Rufai ban on riders.

4. Lack of sufficient affordable transport, they act as bridges/gap fillers

5. Lack of accessible roads, they are able to reach un-motorable nukes, corners and crannies.

6. High Traffic Jams / Go slows, they have ability to manoeuvre in-between vehicles reducing the time wastages due to traffic challenges.

7. It is fun and airy, having the breeze blow on your face and skin.

The list can go on and on.   Unfortunately, it has become the most risky form of transportation.

In Bauchi, where people blatantly refused to wear crash helmets and seat belts, any measure to increase the safety of the commuters and citizenry is a noble deed.  Yes the riders are full of complaints, but it is necessary and of more benefit to them if properly executed.  Everyday you will meet a handful of riders, who do not even know the roads, they depend on you to show them, they keep telling you, if care to ask, that they are from neighbouring states.  So anybody from anywhere, (Militant, terrorist, robbers), can carry a motorbike and commercially work/carry out a negative activity, disappear and leave the true service providers to carry the brunt of the crime committed.  So registration is truly needful.

What will we need to do to make the registration, more meaningful and of benefit to the riders and their passengers?

a. Riders Test and Certification – Mental, Physical, Medical, Eye tests and Knowledge of the terrain (Locality)

b. Road Worthiness of Vehicle, not only license plate

c. Basic First Aid Training

d. Security Back ground check

e. Separation of the town into different areas with responsible coordinating heads, reporting to their town/city or state coordinators.

f. Usage of Reflective readable numbers on bikes (Petrol Tanks), showcasing Bike Commercial registration number.

g. Usage of Reflective Readable Riders Registration Number on Aprons (front and Back).  The riders are not necessarily the owners of the Bikes.  Their registration entitles them to have license as a commercial rider.

h. The Uniform / Apron should be non-transferable, as in the case of license/ID card.

i. Ownership change of Commercial vehicles, should be documented with the necessary authorities, before it is enforced, this will reduce the snatching of bikes.

j. Black listed riders, should have their Apron/Uniform seized for the duration of the black listing.

k. Remove multi taxation – form a one channel ticketing/taxation, Local Government & State Inland Revenue people should have a weekly/monthly scheme.

l. Create a weekly/monthly fora for training, retraining, networking and feedback.

m. Have a 3 digit toll free line for Passenger Complaint, emergency or eventuality report.

n. Institute/Support a compulsory basic Health Insurance through National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cover the rider and his passenger.

o. Create a benefit/reward system where riders through their association/cooperative can finance bike purchase or other projects to increase their channels of revenue generation.

Knowing that Nigeria is not starved of ideas, it is the execution and maintenance that suffers, I rest my case, with a prayer, that the Government will get credible agencies/people to do the needful.  If well implemented, the riders will be presenting themselves for registration and payments of dues, as they know what they are getting from it and later work on making it sustainable and theirs.

May God bless the people of Nigeria.

 

 

 

Bauchi Tourism–Gets a Presidential mention.

I was privy by virtue of work to be at the Convocation Square of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi Nigeria.  The list of attendees was impressive, with so much support from  Co – Heads of Educational Institutions, Research and Agencies, Traditional Leaders, Politicians and a number of well wishers amidst the gradaunds and the families.  The Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors, Prof. A. Daramola of FUT Akure, must be a fulfilled man, that V.C.’s are having convocations by the numbers during his tenure.

The Governor’s speech in relations to the university, at least will give the University the needed road leading to the permanent site, it is my sincere wish that it will not only be to the school, but will be made to pass through the villages near the university, so that the villagers will start reaping the dividends of their allowing the university to be domiciled in their locale.  For land/estate speculators, this is the very best time to start buying and developing buildings in the villages near the University.  If Samara Zaria, my town,  is any testimony to go by, the Airport / University axis might grow to be the most cosmopolitan area of Bauchi. 

The contributions of the Executive Secretary, was of a very mindful father and Academic Leader, advising the University to stick to the mandate of Technological advancement and beautiful was the suggestion of securing the University area, for the safety of the students and staff. A father indeed.  TETFUNDs announcement of the approval for the fencing work, showed the Governments readiness to advance any good course that will be beneficial to the academic community.  I have in the few months of this Vice Chancellor seen a lot of projects springing up from the University, some of the projects show the University taking the lead as it should in the development of the immediate community.   A mention must be done of the new Leadership of ATIL – the Consultancy/Investment outfit of the university, they need to be commended.

The Visitor’s Speech as delivered by the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission, who seems to be the Presidents Special Ambassador for Education, made my day.  He referenced the State with the Yankari Game Reserve as a leading Natural Tourism Trap, comparable with any in the Continent.  He made the university to think towards the proactive looking at synergies with the State Government and other stake holders to make Yankari take it’s place on the map of reserves and am sure a lead Revenue Generator for the State and the Nation, with the resultant creation of jobs for the citizenry.

The Federal Polytechnic, has done well developing resources for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in Bauchi and the environs, so also NIHOTOUR the Government agency for the development of resource for the Industry.  The Governor in his love for education, mentioned the link of the State Polytechnic to the University, so that they can start offering Degree programs, good news.  I  will suggest, so humbly, that now is a right time for the Government, Universities (Federal/State), Federal/State Polytechnics/NIHOTOUR to look at ways for jump starting various modern Hospitality/Tourism resource development programmes.  This is the time to follow the lines of Ahmadu Bello University and start First/Post Graduate Degree programmes in Hospitality and Tourism.    National University Commission will definitely accredit such programmes as the Executive Secretary was the Emissary of the President and Visitor to the University.

On an immediate front, what can we as Hospitality / Tourism concerns do to encourage the Government and Academia to jump start this?  I will think it is time for stakeholders to drop all their differences and form linkages at Owners, Managers and Workers levels for the betterment of the state and region as one.  The more we are together, the happier we’ll be.  And if I have a listening ear, the Government at National and State Levels, should seek to encourage the sector, unifying taxes (reducing multiple taxations), assisting with Power (PHCN) stability and creating patronage by bringing and hosting big events in the state.  

In closing, respectfully, my domicile in Bauchi is opening my eyes to a sleeping giant, waiting to wake up from it’s slumber.   Bauchi is the place for Sport’s Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Mountaineering, Safari / Wild life, Religious Tourism, Educational / Historical, Culinary Tourism (Kilishi, Dambun nama & Masa), Medical and leisure Tourism.  All these with global appeals, the time to wake up is more now, I am looking again, more hopefully, for Yankari Games Reserve to be the Camp David of Nigeria (Buhari / Osibajo, need to be given a Natural place to get refreshed).  I long to see the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Guest House in Bayara, be made a sacred reserved place for Leadership/Historical Research in sync with the Tomb.  Whatever is the reason for the neglect of the Museum near Zaranda Hotel, need a rethinking.  

I feel elated now, I can say the near absence of Tourism in the Ministries and earlier talks of the Government, was not an un-mindfulness.  Responsible Tourism has a good consideration in this government.  God bless Nigerians and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Adamu Ayuba

Fariah Suites Bauchi Nigeria.

Bauchi–CEO Office Please oh.

We are grateful to the Almighty for the successful hosting of the Progressive Governors in Bauchi a week earlier.  It is a step in the right direction for especially tourism in Bauchi.  The feelings from the hospitality sector needs assuaging as some of us were dreaming and reading for this visit for months. 

The pre meeting arrangement got hotels, putting the usual staffing, purchases of both provisions and perishables, repairs, modifications and facelift of places to meet the minimum expectations of our Highly esteemed expected visitors.   The height of the expectancy was the telephone reservations from the Protocol section of Government House.  To our amazement, the first night was a capital NOSHOW, the second night, even with the assurances of keeping some rooms, ended up NOSHOW again.  At this time you will appreciate phones RNRs, as who will want to face an agree hotel?    That was not enough, two days after the departure of the Progressive Governors and the retinue of advance and post mortem parties, a staff of one of the state agencies, was very humane enough to come through a hotel’s door asking for monies to be paid their agency as their office is disturbing them on internal Revenue Generation.   Haba, Oga State CEO.  The business concerns that have faith in Bauchi, came to invest, reducing unemployment and yes generating revenue for the state, but they need some governmental support, push, encouragement or whatever term you might call it.

When ever a big name, whether Royalty, Government, Celebrity or Religious, is visiting any place, serious Tourism Agencies, utilise the opportunity and make it a tourism affair.  That leads to the increase generation of News, Business, Activities and the need for such to either return again or encourage others to come.  That we had hoped will be in bauchi with the meeting of the APC Progressive; surprising it did not even wink, with over 10 APC progressive Governors in Bauchi.  Hotels will tell you that, the town that was placed on a stand still during the wedding of the Atiku and Muazu’s children.

People wanted Rochas Okorocha who happens to be like a son of the North, visit an IDP camp, Yelwa or any Motherless home and pledge a Rochas Foundation school in Bauchi, even with the issue of his flight, we only heard  after his departure.  People will have wanted to engage El-Rufai on issues of championing the cause of the masses.  Some would have wanted to take count of the states in attendance and at least add to their individual story lines, the list of important persons they have seen.

We in the service industry, wanted to see our end of year report highlight an increase in revenue attributed to the visit.  Anyway that is over, I hear somebody say. True, but it will be good to see, how Bauchi will be made to benefit in all ramifications, when issues like this come to be again.

If an airline, that flies ones daily except on Saturdays, will be giving some incentives on flight.  The same airline, collects monies they make daily, envelope it and it is sent on board to Abuja or Lagos, (when such should have been paid into a Bauchi based bank, so IGR can improve and work increased), how much more of those who have removed their eyes, from Abuja, Kano, Lagos and domiciled their schools, shops, eateries, hotels and other businesses in Bauchi?  They need incentives too.

This plea is to our Oga – State CEO.  To make Bauchi increase it’s revenue generation, your input as the Captain is major.  Bring this friends of yours back more more often,again and again.  Encourage us to be part of your success story, the state na we own together.   The synergy of strengths, is the only way forward for the development that the state needs direly, you have all that it takes, I pray you will do it. As it is a new day in the political dawning of this state and the region.    May the Almighty continue to bless the People and Government of this our mother land.

Bauchi Welcomes the APC Progressive Governors.

A Yankari welcome, to all the APC Progressive Governors and their Entourage.   This is an epoch making event, that we in Bauchi hope will be just the beginning.   For the the Bauchi Tourism stakeholder, what will we want the visitors to see and experience in Bauchi?  I am sure I will not be alone to ask that they visit places than their meeting venue.

In my dreams, I will hope that:-

* The Sports Ministry will organise a special friendly novelty football match between the Progressives Governors and a team of selected Internally displaced Children at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium.  

* A Special visit to the Trauma Centre for prayers, and encourage those on admission

* If only for to make history, visit the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Rest House in Bayara and see the show of modesty  it still exudes of the Late Premier.

* The Bauchi Golf  and Polo Club, organise a special outing at the Clubs for the visiting Excellences and their Guests.

* The Visitors will have a detour and visit the Industrial layout and see what their states can source from Bauchi as a substitute to India, China or Malaysia.

* The Cultural Agencies (both State and National) will bring together a cream of talents and have a command performance for this our visitors.

* That the Hospitality outfits will have their chefs join hands and bake a very big APC Progressive Governors Cake as a Welcome, please Come again gesture from the Tourism sector.

*  Our Masa joints enjoy patronage and high exports from Bauchi, when the guests are leaving

* All water to be consumed, be the one from Bauchi.  Yes gara su sha ruwan Bauchi, Yankari on my mind; Fariah to be precise.

* I pray the service charge of hotels and restaurants this month will be good to make Christmas worth the while.

* is that all, No.  I hope we will all get to tell the Executive Governor Thank you and ask that it be repeated soon.  

* My actual prayer is that Yankari will become the place, President Buhari, Osibajo, the Ministers and Governors of all states and Chief Executives of our Companies and Agencies, will start using as retreat and get away place.  It can truly be the Nigeria’s version of America’s Camp David.

* Finally, I hope our Bauchi Media houses have been mobilised to show case the best of Bauchi to this our Executive Visitors.

* At the end of your Stay, Excellences, we say Bon Voyage and please come back again.

May the meeting be successful with results that will touch the generality of humanity, especially in this region.  May we see the sweetness of communion and oneness amongst the leadership of our Nation and pray it trickles down to us.  Again, Happy Deliberations.

Adamu  Ayuba

Consultant – Fariah Suite Bauchi.