FCTA clamp down on unpainted taxis, impounds 57 vehicles
By Hudu Yakubu, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in Nigeria has upped its clamp down on unpainted taxis and other transporters operating in illegal motor parks and garages within the city.
No fewer than 57 vehicles mostly used as unpainted taxis were confiscated for allegedly engaging in commercial intral city transportation without registration.
Officials of the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) Ministerial Taskteam raided some notorious spots around AYA in Asokoro, Federal Secretariat in Central Area and NICON Junction in Maitama respectively.
The team stormed and evacuated about seven luxury vehicles used for hiring services on a road corridor in Maitama District.
Speaking during exercise, head of the Taskteam, Adamu Shehu Maiwada, said the operation was pursuant to a standing Ministerial directive issued, due to the dangers of having unregistered taxis and illegal parking operators in the city.
Maiwada noted that most of the vehicles involved are mainly meant for private use, as they are not registered as commercial vehicles, which always operate as one chance and kidnapping syndicates in the city.
According to him, the impounded vehicles especially notorious offenders, will be taken to mobile court sitting at the premises of VIO office in Wuye District.
“Those who have been arrested more than three or four times will be arraigned before the Mobile court, and upon conviction, the offenders will be made to pay certain fines depending on the offences committed.
“It’s very important to clampdown on the increasing rate of unregistered taxis and illegal motor parks in the Territory, because it’s a menace, and people are complaining about it.
“We have been coming to these areas for more than ten times, to clear illegal parking, so as to ensure that the nuisance they constitute will be over,” he stressed.
He continued: “Really, there are approved bus stops in the nation’s capital city, where vehicles are expected to pick and drop off passengers.
“Taxis have no garage, as they are meant to pick and drop off passengers, so anywhere you see taxi loading within the city centre is illegal”.
Core functions of DRTS
Similarly, Head of Public Relations and Enlightenment unit of the DRTS, Kalu Emetu explained that the exercise is part of the core functions of the DRTS, to ensure that what is considered illegal is not allowed to continue happening on Abuja roads, thereby making sure that people obey traffic laws.
“Everything in Abuja, we go by the law, so let’s ensure that we always do the right. Do not expect the government to always fold their hands to allow you to behave the way you want.
“And why law enforcement officers are there is to ensure people are made to obey the law. Hence, not only our men (DRTS officials), but other paramilitary are helping to check the menace,” Kalu said.