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Ondo Government Sets To Protect, Collaborate With Female Tricycles Operators 



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By Debbie Funmilayo 

The Ondo State Government has expressed the readiness to protect the interests of female Tricycles Operators and also collaborates with them to achieve maximum results in their business across the State. 

The Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Gender Matters, Chief Mrs. Olamide Falana gave the assurance while addressing the female Tricycles Operators during an interactive meeting held at Akure, the Ondo state capital on Wednesday.

Speaking further during the meeting, held at the office of the Gender Matters in Akure, Chief Falana said the essence of the meeting was firstly to let them know that government recognizes the impact of their contribution in the society especially as female riders and seek ways to alleviate their challenges in their work environment. 

“The Governor, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa acknowledges and appreciates your effort, also for the fact that through this job taxes are paid and in turn it is what government uses to provide various amenities you benefit from daily”. 

“It gladdens my heart when I see women who hussle to make a living through this tricycle driving business; the issue of Gender does not refer to male or female alone but both because whatever a man can do a woman can also do. People should unlearn the habit of bringing a woman down just because of her gender”.

Falana explained further, that the government understands that most of them have families, children at school and aged parents while having to fulfill an important role in the society. It is therefore necessary that priority must be given to female riders to make their work easier and to be given a sense of pride. 

Acknowledging their challenges Chief Falana said “In every woman is a man and that man in you is the capacity, energy, determination and resilience you unleash at all times“. She charged them to remain responsible, diligent and undeterred so as not to be subdued. 

The President, Female Drivers Association of Nigeria (FEDAN), Mrs. Olalusi Bosede, while reacting appreciated the government through the Special Adviser for identifying with them, saying it had been long-awaited. 

Mrs. Olalusi drew the attention of government to the issues of bullying, high cost of daily levy and ticketing as major concerns affecting their work, while she commended the Gender boss for her swift action taken to wade into a recent scuffle with one of her members and their male counterparts. 

FEDAN President also lamented that the cost of acquiring the tricycle motorcycle on hire purchase was at an exorbitant rate of 5.5 million naira and 3 million naira with ready cash. This amount she said, was burdensome for her members and pleaded that the government provided a more affordable and flexible means of purchase to enable them make ends meet. 

Similarly, Executive Secretary Ondo State Agency Against Gender-Based Violence (OSAA-GBV), Barr. Bolanle Afolabi commended the female tricycle drivers for their perseverance despite the imminent challenges posed on them while carrying out their job. She assured them that the state government through the office of Gender Matters shall see to making their voices heard promptly. 

Barrister Afolabi advised them to get a lawyer for their association to check on favorable terms of agreement for the hire purchase and guidance even as she enlightened them on the laws available to handle cases of all Gender based violence, provide emergency services and protection for victims. She encouraged them to report any case of harassment when the need arises. 

The first female tricycle rider in Ondo State, Princess Oluwayemisi Oke, expressing her dissatisfaction with level of ill-treatment shown to her members enumerated some of the issues and beckoned government to come to their rescue. 

Other members were allowed to air their concerns at the interactive session regarding their challenges in which the Special Adviser assured them that there would be an interface with the leadership of their male counterparts in the union and ensure issues were amicably resolved for peaceful co-existence. 

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