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Stakeholders react as FCT gives Abuja taxi drivers ultimatum to install air conditioners

By Bukola Adewumi on 12/04/2018

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Stakeholders have reacted to the ultimatum given to Abuja taxi drivers by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to install Air Conditioners (A/C) in their cars on or before the end of October. 

Some of the commuters, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in separate interviews, on Wednesday in Abuja, welcomed the initiative while others condemned it. 

Mrs Tosin Timothy, a civil servant, said she did not think the idea was a brilliant one because it would only impose more hardship on the citizenry as residents would have to pay more for taxi.

According to her, this is not the most important thing right now to do, there are lots of problems on ground that the government should address and not bother themselves with the issue of air conditioners in taxis.

“We need electricity to do business so we can make money to afford taxis, most time I have to walk a long distance just to reduce the cost of transportation.

“Now if they compel the taxis to have air conditioners, how will the common man pay the transport fare, knowing that the economy is still biting hard?

Mr Solomon Kayode, a businessman, commended the FCT administration for the initiative, stressing that it was a welcome idea which must be supported by residents.

“I am surprise that some people are condemning the idea, what good do they really want if I may ask, we all want development but Nigerians are not ready to pay for it.

“All we do is to complain about things not working and when the government is trying to do the right thing, people complain and criticise the government and call them names.

“I want people to know that the journey of development begins with this type of regulations and modernisation; it is a sacrifice everyone must make.”

He urged residents to have faith in the administration and know that the FCT administration was doing it for the comfort of all.

Mr Bala Railiwan, a taxis driver, said that the idea was a good one, adding that this was not the right time to implement it, because the notice was too short.

“There is lot of problems now that I think the government should be more concern about things such as electricity, accommodation in the FCT, unemployment and so on.

“I am a graduate of Benue state university, I became a taxis driver because I could not secure a job, the old taxi I am using right now was more or less a gift because I paid so little for it when the seller knew I was a graduate.”

He said that if the government implement it the price of transportation would increase because for you to have an A/C in a car then the car could not be some of these old taxis that people use, “that means we are talking of buying new cars for that purpose”.

Miss Rose Patrick, a beautician, said she did not think the issue of A/C in taxis was paramount now, what people needed was electricity to work and make money to live a comfortable life.

“My work requires electricity at all times but hardly can one get that for four hours to work in a day, the light goes off and on.

“So, what is the use of the A/C I will enjoy in taxis and go back home to meet darkness,” she asked.

Deji Adewole, a teacher, said that the problem facing the nation is more than just having A/C working in a car, the roads are not good for the cars.

“Go to most of the roads the taxis drivers ply, these roads are bad, and now the government is interested in A/C in the cab.

Bakale Ojo, a student at the University of Abuja, said the idea was a welcome one.

“It will give Abuja a new look.

“I think the government should provide the drivers with new cars at a subsidised rate and the price of fuel should be reduced.

“The government must also ensure it worked on the bad roads so that the cars could last.

“I think the Abuja residents need to support the administration to make this a reality,” he said.

NAN recalls that the Transport Secretariat of FCTA has released guidelines for passenger service (commercial) vehicles, operating within the FCT.

“All passenger service (commercial) vehicles must be registered in Abuja and must carry FCT number plate with effect from Oct. 1, 2018. All Taxis operating within the FCT must be air-conditioned on or before Oct. 1, 2018.

All passenger service (commercial) vehicles must carry two valid certificates of road-worthiness from FCT Computerised Roadworthy Test Centre issued in the last 9 months,” (NAN).

•FCT Minister Muhammad Bello

Source News Express

Posted 12/04/2018 12:02:20 AM

 

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