- Transporters frown at move
By AFAM Echi
Amidst the groaning weight of the biting Covid-19 experience, commercial transport operators in the state may have their expenditure profile jerked up consequent on the government plans to reintroduce the Blue-white colours meant for them.
The Imo Commissioner for Transport, Barr Rex Anunobi made the disclosure Wednesday while playing host to Taxi/Bus Imo Transport Association to his office who paid him a courtesy call.
He made the revelation in a Press statement issued by his Special Assistant (SA Media/Special Projects), Ebere Uzoukwa. It was reported that the present colour in use creates confusion because it belongs to other states.
The Commissioner who maintained that Imo colour enacted by the law of Imo State remains ‘blue and white’ said the Ministry of Transport will also use the painting and fleeting as an instrument to generate data on the number of commercial vehicles operating in Owerri municipal.
Anunobi further disclosed that all commercial vehicles including those on intra and interstate routes will henceforth be routed and fleeted by the Ministry of Transport to entrench sanity in the transport sector in accordance with the Shared Prosperity vision of Gov. Hope Uzodinma.
According to the Commissioner, certain reforms enunciated in the Ministry’s blueprint will put a lasting stop to illegal parking as well as shore up revenue for the state government.
Emphasizing the need to ensure that all revenue leakages are plugged, the Commissioner said that the ministry is weighing the option of partnering with the leadership of Bus/Taxi Imo Transport Association in the collection of the MoT daily motor tickets as against consultants and touts who often divert government revenue from transport sector.
Anunobi also disclosed plans by his ministry to build an ‘All Purpose Imo Modern Travel Park along Onitsha road and exit/terminal parks at Amawire Orji, old Mechanic Village Nekede as well as upgrade Mbaise Park along Egbu road, Egbeada Market Park along Orlu road.
According to him, the parks will serve as terminal points for buses coming from Aba, Enugu, Okigwe, Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Mbaise, Umuahia, Orlu and other places adding that the exit/terminal parks will naturally end illegal parking and traffic congestion in Owerri capital city.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the Association, Chief Kingsley Nwachukwu, pledged their readiness to work closely with the Commissioner and his team to ensure sanity in the transport sector especially in Owerri capital city.
He also promised that the Association will help the ministry in its drive to shore up government revenue from the transport sector.
Those present during the visit include the Permanent Secretary, Lady Ngozi Izunobi and Directors in the ministry, Chief Nze Franklin Iwunze and Mr. Ebere Uzoukwa, SA Monitoring, Implementation and Enforcement and SA Media/Special Projects to the Honourable Commissioner.
Feelers from some of the commercial drivers showed resentments as they condemn government action which they claim imposed greater burden on them especially in this critical moment. An agitated Bus Imo Mini bus driver who simply gave his name as Moses, venting his displeasure stated, ‘we are struggling and hardly can meet up with our daily account and now this situation. Instead of government to help they are increasing our plight.’’