FCDA, commercial bus drivers on warpath over transport policy
By Our reporters
ABUJA—THE Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, and transporters operating at the nation’s capital, Abuja, are at logger heads over refusal of the FCTA to allow owners of Mini-Bus Town Service vehicles bring commuters into the city centre.
The commercial drivers under the umbrella of Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association, SECDA, have however, planned to stage a peaceful demonstration at the National Assembly and office of the Minister of FCT today in a bid to find out if the new transport policy has the approval of both the lawmakers and the minister.
Already, the FCT administration had provided designated points where commuters would be dropped to join SURE-P buses provided by FCT for the city centre.
It was gathered that commuters coming from Nasarawa/Keffi road in the mini bus town service vehicles are expected to be dropped off under Nyanya Bridge while those coming from Kubwa would now have Berger bus stop as the terminal point.
In an interview with the Head of Public Relations to the FCT Transport Secretariat, Mrs. Stella Ojeme, she said that the FCTA had already provided 78 capacity buses for the Nasarawa/Keffi axis and 15 buses for the Kubwa route, adding that Kubwa had only 15 because the ‘araba’ buses were allowed to ply the road.
On whether there was a notice before the implementation of the new policy, she said: “We gave them notice. We distributed flyers and the announcement has been on the radio since December 1, 2012 and if you tune on your radio today to WAZOBIA FM and Aso radio they have been doing the adverts since December 1, everyday.
“Nobody can say he did not hear about it. Anybody that says he did not hear this has lied. It is either they would have seen the flyers or they would have heard it on the radio”.
“When they bring them from Nasarawa State they would drop them under Nyanya Bridge that is where FCT jurisdiction ends and we would now carry them with our own high capacity buses and now bring them into town at N50 per commuter,” she said.
The owners and drivers of Mini-bus Town Service Association in FCT had at a press briefing vowed to resist what it called unpopular new transport policy introduced by FCTA.
Secretary of the association, Prince Charles said that the policy which commenced yesterday, (January 14) was meant to bring hardship to the residents of Abuja.