The Directorate of Road Transport Services of the Federal Capital Territory Administration has commenced the demolition of shops, eateries, and other illegal structures in taxi ranks across Abuja.
The Director of the DRTS, Abdulateef Bello, had earlier on Monday, following a meeting with transport stakeholders, hinted at the reclamation of all taxi ranks within the territory, to make room for a unified mass transportation system in the FCT.
Consequently, the department began the demolition of illegal structures at Area 3 and Banex Junction Taxi Ranks, in Abuja on Friday.
At the Area 3 Taxi Rank, the DTRS team, supported by security agencies, demolished a car wash, mechanic workshops, a cinema house, and eateries among others, operating within the ranks.
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At the Banex Junction Taxi Rank, the taxis were not using the ranks as they had been taken over by miscreants, who used the space to sell hard drugs, including adulterated fuel and diesel.
Head of Operations, DRTS, Mrs Deborah Osho, who led the team, explained that the measure was to give room for more taxis to operate within the ranks.
According to her, this will discourage illegal taxi parks across the city on the grounds that there is not enough space in the taxi ranks, and would also address the menace of “one chance” operators, who take advantage of the illegal parks to perpetuate their evil deeds.
“On Monday, the DRTS invited all the stakeholders in the transportation sector for a meeting, and one of the resolutions was to clear the taxi ranks for taxis to operate inside the ranks. We have equally handed over a space around Eagle Square for tax operators to use as a temporary taxi rank, to stop the menace of illegal parks around the Federal Secretariat.
“We are prepared to clean all taxi ranks in 2024, to ensure that motorists board taxis inside the taxi ranks and not outside. This, in the long run, will address the menace of “one chance” in the city,” she said.
Similarly, FCTA Secretary, Command and Control Centre in the Department of Security, Dr Peter Olumuji, FCTA, noted that one-chance crimes happened because people did not have secured taxi ranks to board vehicles.
“Having gone around with DRTS officials, we noticed that most of the taxi ranks were occupied by people who were not meant to be there, and not giving room to taxi owners to use the space.
“But as we clear these illegal structures, more vehicles will be coming into the ranks so that commuters will be able to board safe and secured taxis to their various destinations. This is a joint effort that will continue,” he said.
Also speaking, Deputy Chairman, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, FCT Chapter, Mr Richard Siso,
described the development as the best for transport operators so far.
“This is what we have been asking the government to help us do and thank God the government has listened to us and has come out to clear the parks for us. We are in full support,” Siso said.