FCT To Clamp Down Unpainted Commercial Vehicles
Deadline for the registration of unpainted commercial vehicles commonly known as “kabu kabu” approaches, the FCT Transport Secretariat says it is set to clamp down on defaulters in October 1.
Mr Ifeanyi Ughamadu, the Head, Public Relations Unit of the secretariat, made this known in an interview with NAN on Monday in Abuja.
Ughamadu said that all commercial drivers were expected to register with any of the recognised licensed taxi operators, after which the secretariat would capture their data.
He told NAN that the secretariat had evolved a policy that would not allow unpainted taxis access into estates in the territory, among other measures.
“We have come up with a policy that all estate managers should allow only the registered taxis and disallow the unregistered cabs by October 1.
“You know registered taxis by the numbers boldly written on the side of the taxi. A vehicle may be painted with Abuja colour but not registered.
“The FCTA has directed the Vehicle Inspection Office and other law enforcement agencies to be on the look out for enforcement. Any `kabu kabu’ that violates the law will be apprehended,” he said.
According to him, the data capturing is being done free as only the driver’s personal data is needed.
Explaining the benefits of the registration, Ughamadu said the data of the licensed registered drivers would be uploaded and made available to estate managers to ensure a trouble-free and safe transport system.
“We regulate transport in the FCT; I do not think any hospital, hotel or company will stop a driver who is duly registered and licensed from entering its premises.
“There are a lot of benefits for using registered vehicles because their identity and personal information is known. It will curb crime and illegal activities,” he said.
He listed the licensed operators for taxis as NURTW Mass Transit Ltd, Painted Abuja Taxi (PAT), Self-Employed Commercial Drivers Association (SECDA), Road Transport Employers Association and SURE-P Taxis.
Reacting to the order, a cross section of the drivers who spoke with NAN, said the plan would impact negatively on their business, noting that operating with unpainted cars was profitable and prestigious.
One of the operators, Mr Ojonugba Ogboji, appealed to the government to be considerate.
“Operating unpainted taxi gives more patronage and reputation both to the passenger and driver than operating painted taxis.
“Most top officials and rich men use unpainted taxis a lot because of its privacy, luxury and comfort,” Ogboji said.
Friday Oboshi, another driver, complained that drivers of painted vehicles suffered humiliation even after registering their vehicles.
“Once you register, you will not go to some places like hotel premises, airport, estates like the Sun City Estate and many offices.
“Many people don’t like the painted cars and the red plate numbers they bear which signifies they are for commercial purpose.
“Some police officers also like to intimidate and harass the drivers of those painted vehicles whereas they cannot do same to us,” Obosho said.