By Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Committees on FCT, Judiciary and Land Transport to conduct a Public Hearing to investigate the process leading to the concession, award and operation of the “Park-and-Pay Policy” in Abuja Metropolis.
A motion moved by Rep Bitrus Kaze (PDP Plateau), said the park and pay policy has since metamorphosed into an avenue for exploitation, fraud and other forms of sharp practices.
Recall that early 2012, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) introduced a “Park-And-Pay Policy” which requires the motoring public in Abuja metropolis to pay fees ranging from N50 to N100 to park their vehicles on designated streets for periods ranging from 30 minutes upwards between the hours of 7.00 a.m and 7.00 p.m.
Kaze in his lead debate noted that the implementation of the policy was contracted out to privately owned companies, such as Integrated Parking Systems Limited and Automaten Technik Haumann Nigeria Limited, which have no previous experience in electronic ticketing and parking system.
He informed lawmakers of allegations that although the companies do not maintain any infrastructure or provide professional services, they remit only between 10% to 40% of generated revenues while keeping for themselves a staggering 60% to 90%.
“The policy is being carried out without a clearly defined law to regulate the concession, management and operation of the electronic ticketing and parking regime, qualification of prospective bidders, the designated areas as well as specific times for ticketing, the percentage of funds to be remitted to government and penalties for defaulters.” he said and decried the “harassment” and “unruly” conduct of agents of the companies.
He said the FCT minister, Sen Bala Mohammad, based on “ceaseless petitions” against agents of the companies pledged to review the policy, but the review has not been made till date.