… Releases over 900 confiscated tricycles
By Stanley Onyekwere
Mandate Secretary for Transportation Secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kayode Opeifa has reiterated commitment to continue the strict enforcement of the ban on commercial tricycles and motorcycles from restricted areas of the Territory.
Opeifa also revealed that the FCT Administration has concluded plans to release confisticated tricycles to their owners through the leadership of commercial tricycle operators Association or union, on the condition that none of them we find its way on the restricted FCT roads.
He however warned that the FCT Administration through the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) will not relent on the enforcement of traffic regulations and policies, aimed at sanitizing transportation outlook of the FCT.
The Secretary, who spoke yesterday while briefing journalists on the traffic activities on roads in FCT, said the guesture was in response to a request by tricycle operators in FCT.
He recalled that over five years ago, there has been an ongoing effort to rid FCT roads of the illegal use of tricycles in the Federal Capital City (FCC), noting oted that overtime, the FCT Administration has also issued advisory, asking operators to stay off the roads.
According to him, the computation policy of the FCT is hinged on the use of mass transit vehicles and taxis, however, due to some inadequacies and economic situation, there have been increase in the use of tricycles and motorcycles.
He explained that subsequently, the FCTA issued an advisory that they should leave the roads, and within that five years, especially about the first three years, relevant authorities have apprehended over one thousand of such tricycles, which were kept in one of its Auto pump in the city.
“However, because of economic situation, some people find this as their means of livelihood, and because there’s a need to reach some of the areas where mass transit vehicles could not reach, the tricycle operation continue to blossom, to a point that they became a menace to the FCT Administration and residents.
“We have received correspondence from tricycle operators leadership and other influential personalities in the FCT as well as at the level of the Federal government, asking us to look into the matter, with assurance that once that they are released, they will not be found within the restricted roads anymore.
“We have reviewed it and had several meetings with the tricycle operators, who made us to understand that many of these tricycles were bought on credit as a result of loans and lot of their members are running up and down, because they need to satisfy the lenders.
“The FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, was approached through a memo detailing all these issues; and he requested for facts.
“And after we had presented him with the facts, he graciously agreed that we should release these tricycles to the owners through the leadership of the tricycle operators Association or union. This is on the condition that none of them will find its way on the restricted FCT roads,” Opeifa explained.
He adds that: “All the restricted routes the union leadership will ensure that their members obey the rule of law.
“Recently, we also met with the leadership of tricycle operators in FCT, where specifics were made known to them, and they promised to work hard to get their members out of these roads.”