A day after the New Year holidays, transporters in Port Harcourt expressed mixed reactions over low patronage.
Our reporter who monitored some Motor Parks in Port Harcourt observed that some motor parks were empty with very few persons travelling out of the city.
Mr Peter Ejiofor, a driver at the Mile 3 motor park told The Tide that the patronage was low compared to what it used to be in previous years. “People are not travelling out of Port Harcourt for now, the way they did last year. By this time last year, we were not looking for passengers, because we were very busy. May be due to the various bomb blasts in the Northern part of the country, people are scared to go back immediately, till the end of the month when all the political parties must have conducted their respective primaries,” he opined.
He said, there are more passengers coming back to Port Harcourt than going out , noting that most of the drivers take the risk of combing for passengers along the road enroute Owerri-Elele as the case may be, with the aim of getting full load of passengers while coming back.
Mr. Jonah Eji a commuter at the park urged federal and state governments to ensure that this year’s primary focus should be to complete all the ongoing road projects to enhance easy transportation in the state.
While lauding Amaechi’s massive road rehabilitation projects, he urged him to use his second tenure to consolidate and initiate more road network in the state.
Drivers Accuse Task Force Of Encouraging Illegalities
As road users were beginning to appreciate the good work of the taskforce for decongesting the roads in Port Harcourt, bus drivers operating from Choba Motor Park have accused some members of the Rivers State Taskforce on Illegal Motor Parks, Street Trading and Roadside Mechanics of encouraging roadside loading by some drivers outside the park
The aggrieved bus drivers said the action was denying them the chances of getting full load as passengers that were supposed to go inside the park were diverted to the buses loading outside the park.
They accused the taskforce of collecting money from the lawless drivers to enable them load passengers outside the designated park.
The bus drivers called on the chairman of the taskforce, Hon. Bright Amaewhule, to rein in his unlawful members.
Speaking to The Tide, an aggrieved bus driver, Sunday Njoku, said: “We are loading in the park and before you get a full load for your bus for a trip, those drivers who paid money to the taskforce, loading outside the motor park, along the road must have gone on trips twice or thrice. And if all the buses should come out on the road to load, government will declare us lawless. So, it’s better they call their men to order.”
Another bus driver, Obed Amajah said , “you see them with the task force apron collecting N100 and N200 from drivers, according to the bus size to allow them load passengers along the road instead of inside the park. This action has kept those of us inside stranded as all passengers are diverted outside, as well as crippled our daily returns.”
By: Kinika Mpi
FRSC Penalises 1,990 Traffic Offenders In Ogun
The Idiroko Unit Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has penalised 1,990 persons for various traffic offences from January 2019 to date.
The Idiroko Unit Commander of FRSC, Mr Akinwunmi Olaluwoye, made this known to newsmen in Ota, Ogun State, yesterday.
Olaluwoye said that the traffic offenders were penalised to serve as a deterrent to other motorists and road users.
The unit commander said that the traffic offenders were arrested for various offences ranging from the use of cell phones while driving, overloading, speed violation, wrongful overtaking and route violation.
He said that the offenders were fined depending on the gravity of the offence they committed.
“The FRSC cannot fold hands and allow innocent souls to be wasted in road crashes because of the bad attitude of some drivers,’’ he said.
The unit commander said the command had embarked on 15 road shows in Idiroko and its environs to sensitise motorists and road users on the importance of safety on the highways. Olaluwoye also said that the FRSC had gone to motor parks 55 times this year to educate commercial drivers on the dangers inherent in the consumption of alcohol and hard drugs while driving.
He said road crashes would be reduced to the barest minimum with continuous public enlightenment programmes in Idiroko and its environs.
Olaluwoye, however, reiterated his unit’s commitment toward ensuring that the highways were made safer for other motorists by apprehending erring ones plying the same roads.
Makinde Flags Off Moniya-Iseyin Road Construction
Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has flagged off the reconstruction of the 65km Moniya-Iseyin road, expected to be completed within 12 months.
Governor Makinde had, in August, revoked the contract for the road, earlier awarded for N7 billion by the former administration, and re-awarded it to Kopek Construction Company at a cost of N9.9 billion.
The governor attributed the revocation from the former contractor to lack of capacity on its part to handle the project.
In his remarks at the occasion, the governor said that the award of the road was in fulfilment of his campaign promise to the people of Moniya and Iseyin towns.
He noted that the road would enhance the socio-economic development of the state, especially of the people of Oke-Ogun area.
According to the governor, when completed, the road will address the challenges of moving farm produce from Oke-Ogun axis to Ibadan, the state capital.
He further disclosed that 60 per cent of the contract sum had been paid to the contractor to ease the job.
“It is expected that the journey from Ibadan to Iseyin will not be more than 45 minutes, when the project is completed.
“We are going to engage security operatives to be patrolling the road for the protection of the people plying the road when it is completed,” Makinde said.
He urged the construction company to deliver quality job, saying that the road would be used as standard template for all other roads to be constructed in the state.
Makinde said for the road to be durable, its asphalt overlay would be 50mm instead of 40mm.
The governor also implored the construction company to engage the services of the youths in the area for the project.
Also speaking, the spokesman of Kopek, Mr Pascal Harfouch, assured the governor and the people of the state that quality job would be delivered.
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