By LAIDE AKINBOADE
ABUJA — Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday said the newly introduced Abuja taxi scheme would enhance security of lives and property in the capital city.
Sambo stated this in Abuja while launching the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Subsidy Re-investment Programme, SURE-P, and Abuja Investments Company Limited AICL, Abuja taxi scheme.
He said it would not only provide employment for the teeming youths in FCT, but will also be a safe and affordable transport system. 160 of the scheduled 1,000 new vehicles for the scheme were launched.
Sambo said: “We are delighted with the giant strides the FCT administration is taking in the development of the capital city. This is a milestone in the developmental strides and I am impressed by the new look of the city.
“The launch of Abuja taxi is very timely, considering the importance of safe and affordable transportation system for a capital city like ours.
“A city can only be active when it has a very reliable and safe transportation system in place. A capital city must be distinguished by its world class transport system. This initiative will therefore provide effective and efficient transport system in Abuja and its environs.
“It would go a long way in providing safe and affordable transport system, create employment and human and vehicular movement.
“The city must live up to its reputation as a safe haven. The new transport system will go a long way in enhancing effectively, our security system by reducing crime in the territory. It will also add to the aesthetic beauty of the FCT and reduce road accidents and environmental hazards.
“We have identified that one of the major challenges inhibiting growth of the territory is neglect of the transport sector, so the Federal Government developed a road map that will address the issue with all the seriousness and urgency it deserves.
“Our administration has rolled out a national transportation plan that involves huge investment worth billions of naira that will cover roads, inland waterways, rail and airport development.
“This involves modern and sustainable transportation system with greater emphasis on rail and road, airport and in land water ways. An enabling environment for public private partnership has also been created. We are developing both the intra and inter network to connect the city so that people that live outside Abuja can comfortably come to work daily, thereby easing the problem of accommodation and transportation.”
FCT Minister, Senator Bala Muhammed, in his address put the cost of each taxi at N2,669,161.00, taking into consideration the cost of painting and other things.
He said: “We have decided to give subsidy to the drivers so we reduced the cost of each taxi by N120,000, but we will be expecting a monthly payment of N63,000 and the period of payment is 36 months so that they will be able to pay and others will be able to get it.”