Vanguard (Lagos)

19 February 2013

Nigeria: FCTA to Spend N500 Million On Transport Palliatives

Abuja — Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA , has set aside N500 million from SURE-P funds for palliatives to take care of those to be affected by the new transport policy of Federal Capital Territory.

FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, stated this weekend while receiving the report of the Ministerial Committee on the Implementation of Mini-Bus Feeder Routes and Traffic Regulations in his office in Abuja.

According to him, "the FCT Administration is not implementing this new land transport policy to inflict pains on any mode of transport operator or commuters but to reduce transportation time.

"All the decisions being taken are not for personal interests but are in the overall interest of the country and in particular residents of the Federal Capital Territory."

The Minister reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to sustain the Abuja Mass Transit Policy in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that the mini-buses would have more work to do now than before.

The Minister said the FCT Administration would talk with some banks, including the African Development Bank, as well as Toyota Motor Company, to provide credit facility to buy brand new buses at very affordable rates.

He said: " We are not making anybody jobless as speculated, indeed, people will be more empowered under this policy because what the FCT Administration is doing is restricting their operations to certain areas of the Federal Capital City and allowing them to operate more broadly on other routes".

Senator Mohammed also announced that the FCT Administration would review the operation of Abuja On-Street Parking, popularly known as Park and Pay Policy, to make it more acceptable to the populace.

He said this measure had become necessary as series of complaints and petitions being received by his office against the unholy activities of some of Park and Pay concessionaires.

"We may be going back to the residents of the Federal Capital Territory to meet with stakeholders in a way of a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the entire operations of the policy vis-à-vis the activities of the concessionaires," Bala said..

Senator Mohammed also revealed that the FCT Administration would be taking a bill to the President for onward submission to the National Assembly for the establishment of the FCT Transport Authority to provide effective legal framework that would ensure sustainability.

The Minister appreciated the uncommon understanding and cooperation of all the stakeholders that came together to work out the mini-bus delineation implementation blueprint.

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