A new transport scheme to be known as the “Abuja Taxi Scheme” has been inaugurated in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with an initial 160 taxis out of the proposed 1000.
Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, who inaugurated the scheme at the Old Parade Ground, Area 10, yesterday, restated the federal government’s commitment to its transportation policy which would cater for roads, rail, sea, airports and inland waterways to drive the nation’s economy in an elaborate way.
He noted that the National Transport Policy would also provide both an intra and inter transportation network that would connect various parts of the country aimed at expanding and enhancing the economic values of various states of the federation.
While commending the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, for his outstanding leadership, he said, “I have noticed several on-going people-oriented projects across the length and breadth of the Federal Capital Territory which will go a long way to improve the living condition of the residents.”
Also speaking, the FCT Minister described the new taxi scheme as an integral part of the FCT Transport Policy which seeks to introduce an efficient and regulated transportation system in the city through the promotion of city mass transportation on dedicated routes, stressing that, “the scheme is aimed at improving the transportation system in the territory. The new taxi scheme would kick off at an initial fleet of 160 brand new taxis which will be managed by the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL). The scheme is to evolve into a self-sustaining semi commercial transport venture that would provide the residents with a modern, secure and reliable taxi cabs.”
Mohammed explained that the taxi operators who would buy into the new scheme would be given a subsidy of five per cent each from the official cost of N2.6 million and would pay back in the next 36 months and added that beneficiaries in the scheme would be drawn from the licensed transport operators including the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association (SECDA) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).
LEADERSHIP reports that some of the beneficiaries, Mr. Chukwuma Nwanunobi, Ojo Abegunde, Richard Obinna Offor and Haruna Seidu, who were presented the keys of their respective vehicles by the vice president promised to ensure that they play their part in having a defined transport system in the city.
The Abuja community service for women and youth empowerment was also inaugurated during the event.
The women and youth empowerment service which is a SURE-P project is expected to engage 10,000 youths and women in various service areas and has so far engaged 4,000 in the first batch.