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Abia shifts date for tricycle, Okada ban by one month

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Abia shifts date for tricycle, Okada ban by one month

Abia state government on Monday extended the proposed enforcement of restriction on operations of tricycles and motorcycles in Aba and Umuahia from the July 1 deadline to August 1 2024.

The one month grace period is to enable government conclude the ongoing enumeration and digital numbering exercise for taxis, buses, ini buses, keke (tricycles) and Okada (commercial motorcycles) in the state as part of the preparatory steps to the full take-off of the new policy.

This is also as government announced plans to introduce Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered bus service in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu who announced these innovations during an interactive session with journalists at the Government House, Umuahia, stressed that the state government decided to extend the enforcement date and take appropriate remedial measures to cushion the effect of the inconveniences that may arise there-from, based on the yearnings of Abians.

“As a listening government and in response to the pleas and yearnings of Abians which we got through various feedback channels, the state government decided to extend the enforcement of that policy by one month to enable all stakeholders to get more prepared for the effective implementation and enforcement of the policy,” he said.

“To sustain the gains made by government with regards to extending business hours in the state, particularly in Aba and Umuahia, the state government will embark on a number of initiatives with a view to filling whatever gaps that may be created by the introduction of restrictions.

“As part of the incentives to operators in the transport sector to drive this new policy, the state government plans to introduce CNG – powered buses to complement whatever gaps that would be created by the full implementation of restriction policy.

“The arrangement will be such that keke and Okada operators will form cooperatives or clusters to access these buses and the bottom-line is to ensure that commuters still move around, especially, during this period of restriction.”

On the controversial upload of credentials of public and civil servants in the State, which NLC in the state objected to, the Commissioner disclosed that a total of 36,875 academic certificates have been uploaded in the ongoing certificate upload exercise, as directed by government.

He added that a total of 25,458 career documents have equally been uploaded while 7,582 have been moved to various institutions for verification.

He said in spite of objections by the uninformed, a good number of workers have uploaded their credentials, and used the forum to encourage those yet to comply to do so, in their own interest.

On roads, the commissioner pointed out that despite the rains, the various road projects embarked upon by the of the state government are ongoing unabated, saying that the designs for the expansion of Abia Tower to Onuimo road is in progress, just as other road rehabilitation and reconstruction works are going on.

Responding to questions by journalists about the mess noticed around Cooperative axis in Umuahia, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma explained thus: “Government is intentional about clearing the mess there as well as relocate the people there and those that are at Isi-gate.

“We are a government of due process. Government had concluded plans to relocate all those at Isi-gate. But if we ask them to leave the place without an alternative, we would have caused a lot of economic challenges for people there.

“A very strategic place has been identified and government is about to acquire it. So, it is the same thing that we are going to do in Cooperatives”.

In his own response to another question, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Ukoha Njoku Ukoha said the governor has approved that purchase of Compressed Natural gas (CNG) Buses to cushion the effects of the planned restriction of the operational hours of Tricycles(Keke) and Okada riders in Aba and Umuahia.

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