17 February 2013

Nigeria: FCTA to Earmark N500 Million to Assist Mini-Bus Drivers Buy Vehicles

The FCT Administration will earmark N500 million to assist mini bus drivers in Abuja draw funds to buy new vehicles under a hire purchase scheme.

Minister of the FCT Bala Mohammed, said this on Friday in Abuja when he received the report of a Ministerial Committee on the Implementation of the Mini Buses Feeder routes and Traffic Regulations.

Mohammed who received the report from the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Anthony Ozodinobi, said that the money will be drawn from the SURE-P allocation given to the FCT Administration.

"The FCTA has commenced an arrangement with some motor companies to provide new buses for the mini-bus drivers.

"This is one of the palliative measures we are going to use to cushion the effect of restricting them on some routes in some parts of the city centre.

"We want them to be using new buses to convey people; most of the buses they are using are not bad.

"I want all FCT transport unions to form one group in order to benefit from this opportunity," he said.

He said that FCTA will also employ 10,000 conductors and put them on monthly salaries.

According to him, the ban on the tricycle (Keke Napep) from plying the Area one, Maitama and Asokoro roads was due to obstruction and traffic jam they cause.

Commenting on the Pay and Display parking policy, the minister acknowledged that it has been violated by the concessionaires.

Mohammed said that the FCTA will soon review the scheme to make it amenable.

"We have received series of complaints and petitions against the unholy activities of some concessionaires."

He said FCTA will present a bill to President Goodluck Jonathan for onward submission to the National Assembly for the establishment of the FCT transport authority.

This, he said, will ensure an effective legal framework for sustainability of transport policy.

He, therefore, gave another three-week grace with effect from last Friday to the mini bus drivers to put things in order, saying that the policy will take effect soon.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary said the committee recommended the palliative measures to cushion the effect of the policy on operators.

He called for sustainable public enlightenment and sensitisation of the public on the new policy.

Also speaking, Mr Okorie Victor, the FCT Chairman, Self-Employed Commercial Drivers Association and Mr Umar Abubakar, Secretary, National Union of Road Transport Workers said, the unions would support the policy.


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