By Musa Sumaiya
The FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) otherwise known as Vehicles Inspection Office (VIO) is finalizing plans with a non-governmental organization to make them not only commercial tricycle and bicycle operators but also fabricators of the machines, in the nation’s capital.
This was disclosed yesterday in a press release by VIO’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Kalu Emetu, following a courtesy visit by Keke Operators Positive Initiative (KOPI) at the Directorate headquarters in Mabushi.
The statement said the Assistant Director operations at the DRTS, Mr Dele Yaro, stood in for the Director commended the efforts of the group especially at a time when the country is facing very difficult security challenge and noted that these modes of transport are being used outside what they are meant to be used for.
Yaro reiterated that public transportation in FCT was planned in a manner that each mode has to complement with others and not to compete, which makes the roads look disorderly, and decried how tricycles and motor bikes are being used for armed robbery and drug courier.
He explained that it is a must for operators to do data capturing, obtain riders permits during registration, he further assured the President of Keke Operators Positive Initiative and his team that the Directorate will like to partner with the NGO for the realization of their good objectives to the residents of FCT.
He promised that brutality in operations and other activities of the Directorate were already being discussed and will soon be a thing of the past.
He however warned that operating in the restricted areas and overloading remain serious offences and those who those not abide to the rules will be punished.
Earlier, President and Founder of KOPI, Shetima Ibrahim said the group’s plan is to make tricycle and motor bikes not only to be revenue generators but also to touch lives of the populace.
Ibrahim explained that his hosts has gone far in training some of the operators on how to fix and make use of the motor bikes and tricycles which the NGO is doing in partnership with a Chinese firm who are their technical partners.
KOPI president however, expressed disappointment at what he described as brutality on the operators noting that they are humans and need better treatment. The human right activist noted that most of the operators oftentimes, are under the influence of drugs and can afford to behave funny.
According to him, the qualification of selection are those who are not known to disobey constituted authorities, the operators who are not known to break traffic laws or those who do not use the tricycle for what they are not meant for.
He also noted the fact that regulatory body should be part of this laudable plan, believing that through the Directorate the NGO will be able to get those who have been law abiding and can make the relationship to succeed.
He further added that it would be proper if the NGO is allowed to register the operators, get their data in their bank before they proceed to register with DRTS.
He explained that they are coming out with a technological device that will locate the whereabout of any operator who commits any form of crime particularly traffic offence.Ibrahim said the non-governmental organsation had been liaising with some business organizations in providing keke and motor bikes for different services like school runs for those who would not want to use their vehicles for such services.