By Stanley Onyekwere
Worried by the seemingly endless issues distorting traffic and public transportation system in Abuja, the nation’s capital city, stakeholders have stressed the need to intensify and sustain efforts, aimed at effectively mitigating the menace.
The stakeholders drawn from the tourism industry, terminal operations, road traffic institutions and security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), looked into all the eritical areas that impede seamless tratfic flow in the Territory.
They were last week engaged in a critical stakeholders meeting with officials of the FCT Transport Secretariat, as part of its measures to finding lasting solutions to public transportation problems.
Addressing the stakeholders, Director of Administration and Finance (DAF), Mrs. Alice Achu-Odey explained that the rationale was to involve every stakeholder in the quest to changing the ugly narratives in public transportation in the FCT.
Achu-Odey, who is overseeing the affairs of the Secretariat, noted that there are myriad of challenges facing the sector from the operators of Kabu Kabu,Tri-cycles, Okada, low Capacity Buses and even from some licensed taxi and high capacity bus Operators.
She added that the FCTA is also seriously concerned about activities of “one chance” criminals who mainly operate under unregistered taxis, Tricycles and okada.
She recalled that in April Last year, the Secretariat, after an exhaustive meetings with all licensed Taxi Operators, an updated guidelines for passenger Service (Commercial) vehicle operation in the FCT was formulated.
“The updated guidelines required all passenger service (commercial) vehicles such as high capacity buses, mini/mid buses, taxis, tricycles andotorcycles to carry red number plates, be registered in Abuja and must carry FCT number plate with effect from 1 October, 2018.
“The Guidelines also direct all Taxis operating in FCT must be air conditioned on or before 1 October, 2018 just as all passenger service (commercial) vehicles must carry two valid certificate of roadworthiness from FCT computerisd roadworthy Test Centre issued in the last 9 months.
“The intention of the Guidelines is to ensure the safety and pleasure of all commuters using public transportation; however, we were unable to enforce these directives for some logistics reasons,” she stressed.
Similarly, Director, Department of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) Aliyu Wadata Bodinga, identified attitudinal and litigation issues as part of the major challenges facing the management of transportation system in FCT.
He however maintained that the FCTA remains resolute ending all forms of insecurity associated with public transportation are drastically reduced.
“The city can’t work well if there is no effective public transportation. As you can see from all these people gathered here, they have been re-emphasizing and emphasizing on that.
“And we believe if we have a public mass transit system, all this challenges we have been having will be reduced to the barest minimum.
That way your journey will be secured and safe and verybody gathered here is saying almost same thing that Abuja need a transport system inside the city and even outside of the city.”