13 February 2013

Nigeria: Inside VIO Dumping Site At Gosa

A dumping site popularly called 'Auto Pond' created by the Directorate of Road Traffic Services commonly referred as Vehicle Inspectorate officer (VIO) is located at Gosa in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).

The site was created in 2002 for the purpose of dumping impounded motorcycles and vehicles.

However, many Nigerians, especially those residing with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have severally accused officials of the organisation of making use of seized cars by themselves and as well selling some of the impounded motorcycles.

This allegations have also been dismissed by the officials several times with an explanation that due process is always being followed in dealing with those seized items.

Recently, our reporter went to the dumping site at Gosa to find out what happens there and find out how those seized items are being handled.

At the site, the reporter was conducted round the impounded items by the DRTS's Head of Recovery Unit, Adeniran Adewumi, who informed that the site was established in 2002.

He said his unit is in charge of bringing the impounded vehicles to the site for safe keeping pending any government's decision on them.

He said the unit usually removes vehicles that are involved in accident on the highway as well as those that are abandoned at various mechanic workshops and transfer them to the auto pond.

"We have discovered that some of the abandoned vehicles at the mechanic workshops are used to commit various crimes including illicit drugs, arms, terrorism and other criminal activities. But our problem now has to do with toying equipment that are grossly inadequate," he stated.

DRTS's Head of Task Force, Mukhtar Mohammed, said his men have met several times with operators of tricycles on the need for them to operate only on designated routes assigned to them, adding that their activities remain banned in major routes within the city centre.

"They are restricted to operate within Estates only to provide means of transportation to the residence of Gwarimpa Estate, Life Estate and Garki village," he said.

He, however, said seized Keke Napep are being released to their owners, adding that in a situation where they cause some damages to the organisation's property during their arrest, they must have to pay for that before having their property released to them too.

He said after due process, the seized items at the dumping site are always offered for bid to give members of the public opportunity to take part in the exercise.

"So far, some vehicles have been disposed between 2002 and 2010 and we hope it is going to be a continuous exercise to clean up the dumping site," he said.

Also commenting, FCT VIO Director, Wilson-Rotimi Alade, said the organisation is doing its best to clean up the city of anything that can constitute nuisance and insisted that the ban on operations of motorcycles within the city centre is on course.

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