By Stanley Onyekwere
As part of reinvigorated efforts to mitigate perennial traffic gridlock in the nation’s capital city, officials of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) and FCT Ministerial Task Team on Traffic Free Flow has commenced intensive enforcement of ban on commercial tricycles within restricted areas.
Recall that the FCT Administration through the DRTS recently announced a reinforced ban on the operations of Tricycles ( otherwise known as Keke NAPEP) on major highways and the city centre.
According to the DTRS’s Director, Wadata Bodinga, the FCT Administration has decided to intensify enforcement of the ban, to ensure orderliness in the city.
Bodinga, who spoke during a sensitization campaign yesterday, said the Directorate has cleared its carport to accommodate all impounded tricycles during the period of the enforcement and beyond.
He also disclosed that the government has decided to phase out all rickety vehicles, especially those that have failed road worthiness test.
DTRS boss noted expressed serous concern that about 95 percent of vehicles in Abuja would not pass road worthiness test.
He reiterated that the grace period given to affected taxi operators has elapsed, hence , the implementation of the ministerial order.
He therefore warned that the enforcement which is commencing on 13th November (today) would be total, and that defaulters will be arrested and their vehicles impounded.
“We urge all who want to operate in FCT to abide by the rules and regulations.
“We have cleared our carport to accommodate all impounded vehicles and Tricycles,” Bodinga stated.
Similarly, Chairman of the Traffic Control Task team, Comrade Ikharo Attah , said the full enforcement will not only restore sanity to the nation’s capital, but will help in the fight against traffic gridlock.
Attah while debunking claims by some individuals that the order was deigned to unleash hardship on both the operators of the Tricycles and residents.
He noted that the ban was in line with the transportation master plan of the city, which stipulates that the operations of all means of transportation should be regulated and controlled.
He explained that the Ministerial directive was meant to enhance safety of the operators, as well as that of the passengers, as they will no longer be allowed to move on highways.
He however maintained that the Abuja project would not succeed if laws and regulations that govern operations of businesses are not enforced and obeyed.
According to him, “What the Minister is asking the Minister to do is just to restrict themselves to areas designated for them to operate. They cannot be verywhere across the city, particularly on major highways and in the city centre.
“The ordered deployment of high capacity buses from the fleets of Abuja Urban Mass Transport will cushion the effects of the ban.”