… It will check crime, stop underage driving–Govt
… No, It will increase taxation— Keke men
Abia State government has officially launched Abia State rider’s permit for commercial bus riders, tricycle and motorcycle riders aimed at safety of Abians and tackling rising rate of underage driving in the State.
The system, when embraced by the commercial vehicle operators, would, according Abia State government, ensure proper documentation of commercial transporters in the State as well as generate revenue for the State.
It would also assist the government in fishing out criminals disguising as genuine transporters as according to the program, a unique code would be attached to permit.
Unveiling the new initiative, Abia State Commissioner for Transport, Godswill Nwanoruo commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for approving the transport policy, explaining that there would be a one month window period for the commercial bus, tricycle and motorcycle operators in the State to obtain their own permit before the commencement of enforcement of the exercise.
He advised them to get captured and obtain the permit a y as it was in their own interest of Abians and all residents of the State, pointing out that any identified defaulter would sanctioned by the government enforcement team, after the expiration of the one month period.
He said, “We are giving commercial operators one month to get captured and collect their rider’s permit after which sanctions would be implemented. A security number and QR code would be attached to the permit. This exercise is aimed at profiling commercial vehicle operators to capture the accurate information about their vehicles”, said Nwanoruo.
Responding during the launching, the Chairman of Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), Mr Kingsley Ekeleme who spoke on behalf of other Keke NAPEP rider’s unions in Abiia assured that his members would key into the regulatory, saying it was a noble idea.
However, some tricycle and bus drivers who reacted to the newly introduced rider’s permit complained that it will increase tax burden upon them.
A keke NAPEP riders, Mr Ifeanyi Ufondu, Ogbani Ogbani , Chidera Amalaha and and a bus driver, Jephrey Anyaso lamented that a similar thing was introduced in the State in previous years which allegedly made them to pay through their noses.
They expressed worry that despite previous regulatory policies introduced by the State government like painting of uniform colour, removal of apron and issuance of unique registration numbers, another money-spending policy has again been brought up by the same government.
Ifeanyi Ufondu who spoke on the new policy, said he would comply with the government but advised the State government against exploiting the Keke NAPEP riders.
We were first told to pain green colour some years ago and we obeyed. We were again directed to paint green and yellow, we agreed. All these we paid to a government contractor who then gave us the paper to go and paint the Keke.”
He continued, “Later on, we were told to remove our apron because it was being used for crimes and we obeyed. They later introduced issuance of special numbers for each Keke and you will pay to have the numbers inscribed on the Keke. Apart from these we pay daily tickets to government revenue agents.”