By Lawrence Olaoye
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, yesterday accused officials of the nation’s security agencies, especially the policemen, for flouting the law banning the operation of motorcyclists (Okada men) in certain parts of the city’s satellite towns.
This is coming as he informed the State House Correspondents that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N272m for the feasibility study and conceptual design of Lots 4, 5, and 6 of the Abuja Rail Mass transit network for the Federal Capital Territory designed to create about 9500 jobs for the populace when completed.
Asking question as to why certain persons flout the motorcycle ban law in some of the Satellite towns, Mohammed said “this is an area that I am really frustrated because you discover that most of the people that are violating the ban are security agencies. You see the police, the military not even the young people that are coming for greener pastures using it and so they encourage others.
“If you go around Nyanya, even by the vicinity of this Villa, sometimes I go round for instance in Area 1, you see it with absolute impunity and arrogance. When you chase them away, they will come back because you discover some of the policemen are using it to go to work. Now motorcycles are being used but I am discussing with the new Commissioner of Police for FCT, you will see some changes because he has given me his own plan to ensure no sacred cow escape. Unless we do that there is no way we will enforce the ban on Okada.”
On the approval for the new Abuja light train, supervising Minister for Information, Nurudeen Mohammed, “The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory administration brought a memo to council seeking approve for the award of contract for the feasibility study and conceptual design of Lots 4, 5, and 6 of the Abuja Rail Mass transit network for the Federal Capital Territory.
“The FCT Rail Mass Transit system is designed primarily as mover of people within and between the satellite towns and the different phases of the city. Also, the Abuja rail system will be integrated with the planned national rail network.
“There is a provision of N280,000, 000.00 in the 2014 FCT Statutory Appropriation for the project.
“The projects upon completion will reduce traffic congestion, shorten journeys distances and reduce pressure on existing public transport services.” Mohammed said.
According to him, the project on completion will also provide employment opportunities to about 5,000 skilled and unskilled workers, while about 4,500 skilled workers will be engaged in the direct operation of the system on completion.
The minister added that “after due consideration council approved the award of contract for the consultancy services for the feasibility study and conceptual design of lots 4,5 and 6 of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit network for the FCT in favour of Messrs Ladiom Associates in the sum of N272, 737, 710.00 (Two hundred and seventy two million, seven hundred and thirty seven thousand, seven hundred and ten naira) with a completion period of 12 months.”