Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FCT Minister rolls out new taxis, tricycles

Following the restriction imposed on tricycles, popularly known asKeke Napep in some parts of the Federal Capital City, the Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello, unveiled the acquisition of 33 Nissan Saloon vehicles for commercial taxi operations in Abuja.

Flagging off the Keke Palliative Taxi Scheme in Abuja, he said the FCT Administration facilitated the acquisition through the Abuja Enterprise Agency, AEA, Limited small and micro businesses scheme.

Bello explained that 20 of the beneficiaries drawn mainly from the Keke riders unions, were trained by the AEA and profiled for access to finance which facilitated the acquisition of the vehicles which they would use in conducting their trade.

The FCT minister, who was represented at the flag-off ceremony by his Chief of Staff, Bashir Mai Bornu, said the beneficiaries of the scheme were made to undergo adequate drive test as well as profiled for access to finance.

Bello also stressed that the gesture is a testament to the administration’s desire to improve the wellbeing of residents in addition to creating an enabling environment for business to grow, through the provision of a well-structured transport system in the FCT.

The minister urged the beneficiaries to deploy the taxis in areas where tricycles have been restricted to cushion the effects.

Earlier in his address, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Enterprise Agency, Dr Arabi Tukur, said the agency trained 20 individuals selected by the Confederation of Tricycle Motor Operators Association, CONFACTRIMO, in the FCT, on modules covering entrepreneurship to develop their business acumen, as well as provided a driver instruction class to test the proficiency of the drivers.

“Building on this, the agency also provided technical support for MTI Graduate Taxi Scheme, another private sector led scheme. We trained 19 people for the scheme who are graduates that are willing to take up taxi driving for a business. They have all been trained on entrepreneurship and driving instructions.

“Out of the 19 trained, 13 have been profiled and were given funds by the agency for the acquisition of vehicles based on agreed and fulfilled terms and conditions,” he said.

The MD further noted that the beneficiaries of the scheme have been given four years to make full payment for the vehicles, after which they will become eventual owners.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the treasurer, Keke NAPEP FCT, Sanusi Usman, thanked God for the privilege to upgrade from Keke Napep riders to taxi owners, through the efforts of the minister.

 

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