. . Calls for Biometric Registration of all Riders
By Michael-Jude Nwolisa
The Anambra State Commissioner for Transportation, Hon. Charles Uche Okafor has decried the excessive illegal levies on tricycle riders across the state and also called for the biometric registration of riders.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ press conference held at the Government House, Awka on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, the Honourable Commissioner reaffirmed the stand of the state government that every levy on the tricycle sector had been abolished and urged the riders to stop paying their hard earned cash to illegal collectors.
The Commissioner, who called for the biometric registration of all keke riders, explained that such a move would help curb crimes and improve the general security in the state. Hon. Okafor further explained that with the biometric registration, every tricycle rider would be registered with the details of their tricycle so as to checkmate the rate of crimes committed with tricycles in the state.
“Borrowing and lending out of tricycles would no longer be tolerated after the biometrics registration exercise and any tricycle caught in an act of crime, the registered rider would be severely dealt with”, he said.
Speaking on the recently dissolved tricycle union, the transport commissioner disclosed that it was necessary because of the inability of the union to discharge its duties well, both to the government and the riders. He made it known that the tricycle transport sector would be remodelled to empower their different units across the state, who in turn, would report to the state liaison office and liaise with the security agents in their division.
Hon. Charles Uche Okafor further noted that the tricycle unit heads would be charged, among others, with the responsibility of controlling tricycles’ traffic on strategic areas, completely eliminating illegal levies on the riders in their respective units and reporting the security situation of their areas.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary to the Transport Commissioner, Mr. Daniel Ezeanwu encouraged the tricycle riders to be more co-operative with the government. Mr. Ezeanwu urged the riders to shun traffic lawlessness, criminality and reckless driving which often resulted in road accidents. He hoped that by recent plans of the state government, through the Honourable Commissioner for Transportation, sanity would be restored in the tricycle transportation sector.
Speaking to journalists after the event, the Anambra State Commissioner for Transportation, Hon. Charles Uche Okafor explained that the event was aimed at eliminating illegal collection of multiple levies which indirectly encouraged touting in the tricycle transport sector. He also noted that the state government was adopting a Single IGR Ticketing System for the tricycle sector across the state. It is hoped that by this, a tricycle rider would only pay for one ticket in a well documented format.
Issues like police extortion, tricycle riders without licences, monthly seminar for riders and threats posed by heavy duty vehicles on the roads were, among others, raised at the event.