From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin
The National President of Airport Car-Hire Association of Nigeria(ACHAN), Chief Stanley Dike has disclosed that 15 of the association’s members have been kidnapped in the course of their daily work.
Dike who stated this while talking with journalists during its zonal delegate conference in Ilorin yesterday said one member was killed in Abuja last week, while another member in Port Harcourt had been missing for the past few weeks.
Besides, Dike said more than 20 cars have been snatched across the country by criminals within the past one year.
He said: “In Port Harcourt alone, many of our members have been kidnapped. We are still in search of one of our members. In the last two months we are yet to know his whereabouts and even the cab too. In Abuja, Kaduna and Kano the same thing happened to our members.
“A major challenge is our ability to differentiate between genuine or otherwise passengers. Before you know it some of these miscreants will come in pretending to be genuine passengers. They sometimes even offer higher amount of fare to attract unsuspecting cab owners. In the process our cars and drivers some of the times are taken away.
“Kidnapping in this country is something even the government itself tried as much it could to eradicate. At a time government even engaged the services of military personnel, but it later discovered that it was not helping matters.”
The President of the Association noted that they are facing other challenges such as competition and unauthorised admission of all sorts of car hire operators by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
“Sometimes, FAAN admits all sorts of car hire operators and thereby reducing the number of times either in a day or a week we are supposedly be going to work carrying passengers and we have families that we take care of; we have cars that we need to maintain.
“The kind of business we are doing is a very competitive that one needs to secure it. But in most cases there are lots of external interested persons that come in to begin to compete with us. Many of them are not legally recognized by our members and even authorities of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria”, he said.
The president of ACHAN, who called on federal government, law enforcement agencies and relevant stakeholders in the aviation industry to check the ugly trend, said no business could flourish in an unsecured environment.
Chief Dike, who was elected president of the association at the delegate conference, said security of lives and property of his members was a major concern of the association.