Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Government yesterday inaugurated the Association of Taxi Car Operators into its transport scheme.
The inauguration, which took place at Prof. Kenneth Dike Digital Library Awka, had stakeholders in the state transport sector in attendance.
Sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Anambra state, CC Andrew Ayodele Kumapayi , who gave an elaborate speech on what the association should do to ensure safety of commuters in the course of their services, maintained that it was the first time such association was being inaugurated in the state; assuring the association that FRSC would partner the association in all ramifications.
The sector commander also admonished the taxi car operators to ensure that they were trained as well as stressed the dire need for them to obey traffic rules and regulations while urging them to ensure they have valid driving licence.
Kumapayi noted that the association should not operate with rickety vehicles but maintained that they should ensure that their vehicles were road worthy and also abide by COVID-19 prevention protocols.
The sector commander said that the ultimate goal was to ensure that commuters accessing the terminals were safe and free from the coronavirus infections.
The state commissioner for transport, Hon. Afam Mbanefo in his remarks, noted that private taxi was a business which must develop and employ Anambra citizens. He said the association should ensure passengers were safe as well as adhere to all other safety measures to guarantee quality service delivery.
Mbanefo also emphasized that their vehicles must be road worthy and that the Ministry of Transport would ensure that they were all registered for security reasons even as he charged them to channel situation reports to the Anambra State Traffic Control Centre for rapid response.
The commissioner further charged the newly inaugurated taxi car operators to obey all state and federal traffic rules and regulations.
Meanwhile, the General Supervisor Anambra State Vehicle Inspection Unit and Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Public Transport, Hon. Raph Okoye, said the association would succeed with a good working relationship with the state government.
Okoye however advised members of the association to bring their vehicles for what he described as computerised vehicle testing to ascertain their road worthiness.
The chairman youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Anambra state chapter, Hon. Nwabueze Nwokoye, who also chaired the inaugural ceremony observed that the taxi car operators would help to create jobs for the unemployed youths in the state. He therefore urged the state government to refine Anambra state transport system.
State chairman of the taxi car operators, Mr. Chekwube Okolie, thanked the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Ministry of Transport and all other stakeholders who identified with the association in solidarity. He also stressed that the association would work closely with the state government to enhance their operations in the state.