All hail RTEAN for launching TAIS


By Abba – Eku Onyeka, Abuja

The leadership of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) under Alhaji Musa Mohammed (Maitakobi) was hailed by invitees at the trade union’s launching of Travellers Accident Insurance Scheme (TAIS), even as the Association recently appealed for the establishment of transport bank from the Federal Government (FG).

RTEAN, an umbrella body of all the commercial vehicle owners in Nigeria, in collaboration with Management 4 Impact has recently launched TAIS at the Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja.

In his welcome address, the executive national president Alhaji Musa Mohammed informed that the essence of the scheme was to be taking proper care of travellers, their families and luggages, by way of indemnification, during an accident.

Hailing RTEAN for coming up with the scheme, as well as throwing lights on it, Godwin Achibong from Management 4 Impact said that the fund for the scheme is actually generated internally; meaning that they have not added cost in the transport fare of their passengers.

Among the areas the scheme covers, according to him are: passengers who board RTEAN vehicle from the point of departure to the point of arrival; passengers who travel from parks being operated by RTEAN; passengers whose names are properly documented in RTEAN travellers manifest. This, according to him means that every passenger whose name is documented in the manifest.

Others are: confirmed accident victims and injuries that may require treatment; passengers who may have permanent injuries that may result in disability at the time of the accident and; passengers who may die during an accident.

Areas that the scheme doesn’t cover, according to him are: passengers who travel from a park, other than the one under the operation of RTEAN; passengers that join vehicle along the road and; passengers that board a vehicle driven by another driver from a different location, whose name isn’t in the manifest.

Adding that the scheme is data-based, Achibong however spoke at length on its importance and benefits attached with it.

Similarly hailing the Association for the giant stride, the president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadir Olaleye  had this to say: “We all agree that people die in this country in many ways and there are some that we can’t control, but we can support. Let’s talk about Banditry, Boko Haram and others.

“But there is the one that is within our control; that we can play a vital role and that is the issue of road accident. We can prevent it, if we drive carefully. We also mitigate such road accidents by compensating whoever is involved in road accident and that is why we are here, because we can’t leave everything at the hands of the government.

“So I want to appreciate the association today for restoring the courage of passengers. You don’t know the benefits of what you are doing today. You are restoring the confidence of passengers to come to our motor parks and board their vehicles with the confidence that these are well oriented drivers and vehicle owners; that if at all, accident occurs, their medical can be taken care of. So I hail the national president and the entire members of his executive for the giant stride.”

National president, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Yusuf Lawal also in a remark said that a scheme such as TAIS would go a long way to address the problems in the transport industry, even as he hailed the executive national president for coming up with such idea. Attributing the success of the scheme to the ability of the leadership of RTEAN to bring together all the waring factions, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal therefore said that the best way to achieve progress was through peace.

Assuring RTEAN of his union’s continued cooperation, the deputy national secretary, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Suleiman Musa who represented the national president of his union, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa commended leadership of RTEAN for the innovation. He said that the scheme would return the lost confidence in the industry, even as he urged the government at all levels to assist those in the industry.

Declaring the launching of the scheme open on behalf of senate president, the vice chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Nicholas Kofomwo urged the government to as a matter of importance and urgency address the problems in the land transport, as they have over the time been doing to its sea and air counterparts. He however promised to move it as a motion during the sitting of the senate.

Among other organisations that attended the occasion were Heritage Bank PLC, Federal Road Safety Corps and Federal Ministries of Health and Transport.

Recall that at the recently inauguration of RTEAN’s newly elected executives from Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states in their headquarters, Abuja, the national president appealed to the FG to establish transport bank for those in the sector as they have done for those in the agriculture and industry. He said that the establishment of such bank would go a long way to help the members in loan assessment, as well as address the economy, adding that transportation plays a lot of roles in every country’s economy. Alhaji Musa Mohammed however stated that encouragement of transportation industry would go a long way to address the issue of unemployment in the country.

The executive president however advised the newly elected officers to strictly ensure that their members adhere to the COVID-19 pandemic protocols, as well as obey the law.

The newly elected chairmen of RTEAN in Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states, Comrades Christopher Godwin Edem and Sunday Nweze Umahi promised to do everything legitimately possible to address transportation problems in their states through RTEAN.