By Sunny A. Ijomah
The Anambra State Government yesterday said it would dismiss any officer of the Anambra Traffic Management Agency (ATMA) who extorts motorists.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Christian Madubuko, made the disclosure during a 2020 budget defence before the State House of Assembly Committee on Transportation in Awka.
He said that such disciplinary action would sanitise the agency, block revenue leakages and serve as deterrent.
“The major mandate of ATMA officials is to monitor and ensure free-flow of traffic to reduce travel time within the State and not to harass or extort motorists.
“I seriously frown at the act which is why we have issued a warning that any officer found in the act of collecting money from traffic offenders or extorting motorists will be dismissed.
“Once you arrest a traffic offenders and you issue ticket, the offender pays into the government’s bank account. It is not the duty of ATMA officer to collect cash payment.
“We promise to take this matter seriously by ensuring that erring officers are brought to book,” Dr. Madubuko said.
Commissioner Madubuko urged residents and motorists to report erring officials to the agency for further investigation and possible disciplinary actions.
Also, Mr. Pat Obiefuna, Managing Director of ATMA, said the agency did not have enough towing trucks to operate effectively.
“Presently, we have three non-functional tow trucks. They are very old and cannot be maintained anymore.
“We require at least about three new tow trucks to effectively get off disabled, impounded or accident vehicles obstructing traffic on our roads.
“It will cost about N30 million and we have included it in the budget, hoping to get approval,” he said.
Mrs. Beverly Ikpeazu-Nkemdiche (Onitsha South Two), urged the ministry to put mechanisms in place to check the activities of the officers to ensure they carried out their duties as they should.
Mr. Lawrence Ezeudu (Dunukofia), a member of the committee also called for constant training of officers of the agency to build their operational capacity.