Some female drivers under the umbrella of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Female Commercial Drivers Association are calling on the FCT Administration to fathom them into its transportation support initiative under the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (Sure-P) Taxi Scheme like their male counterparts.
Specifically, the body has approached the FCT Administration for the approval and release of 150 taxis to the association to enable its members benefit from the Sure-P transportation scheme.
The spokesperson of the group, Miss Eunice Odeghe who led other members of the association to the office of the Transport Secretary, in company of the chairperson of FCT National Council of Women Society, Mrs. Nancy Bulus, noted that members of the association are poised to make a difference in the transport sector.
She assured that if the taxis are released, the association would be in a better position to empower other women and youths in the territory, saying “when you empower a woman, you have empowered the nation.”
She says: “This body is poised to establish micro economic project for the overall benefit of women and youths irrespective of tribe or religion through our “Female Drivers Project”.
“The project is basically one of our pet projects aimed at preparing and empowering especially women and youths in the area of commercial driving business venture, which we believe has the capacity of enabling the beneficiaries to cater for their individual needs and that of their various families”.
Odeghe used the occasion to commend the Transport Secretariat for what she described as checkmating excesses of road transporters in the territory, adding that the implementation of the new transport policy that restricted the activities of mini bus operators to the satellite towns has brought sanity to the sector.
Responding, the FCT Transport Secretary, Jonathan Ivoke, noted that the request for the integration of female commercial drivers into the Sure-P Taxi scheme is in line with the administration’s blueprint of involving every segment of the society in its policy drive.
However, assuring the female drivers that their request of 150 taxis would be forwarded to the FCT minister for consideration, he said the administration will make a leeway for them to obtain the operator’s licence.
“I have no doubt in my mind that you will do better than your male counterparts. Experiences have shown that our women are more careful in handling critical assignments. However, we are not going to take things for granted. I will direct our officers from VIO office to train your members on some of the techniques of driving and the use of road signages,” Ivoke stressed.