Following insinuations that the FCT Administration is contemplating the removal of Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) from the roads like some states have done, the FCT Administration has assured it is not contemplating such as their removal would be suicidal and catastrophic.
Though the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello recently restricted the operations of the Directorate of Road Transport Services (DRTS), otherwise known as VIOs to ease traffic on the roads at peak periods, the Administration is not contemplating their removal.
The FCT Acting Secretary of Transportation Secretariat, Abdulhamid Mohammed Suleiman stated this on Thursday, while addressing journalists as part of the activities to mark two years in office of the present administration in Abuja.
According to Suleiman, “Removal of Vehicles Inspection Officers (VIO) from Abuja roads as done by some states in Nigeria, would be suicidal in Abuja. It would be catastrophic. Transportation is the heart beats of any nation, without transportation; the means of moving human beings from one point to the other would be absent, so no matter how you look at our performance, it is because transportation has put certain policies in place, that is why you have a city called Abuja and it is working”.
He also revealed that the Directorate (VIO) made the sum of N1.988 billion in revenue in 2016 for the FCT Administration.
On the ongoing Abuja light rail project, he said “I want to assure you that Abuja light rail project is on course and would be rolled out towards the end of the year. And it is already 93% completed. But we are now looking at the access roads, we are going to provide nice access roads that would be motorable to always take people to the rail station and also bring them back”.
On the absence of mass transit buses in Abuja, he said, for mass transit to work, there is need for heavy subsidy by the government, “ The removal of buses from Abuja road is partly a systematic issue. When you have systematic problem you cannot really tackle that matter the way you expected. Transportation in any part of the world require subsidy, heavy subsidy”.
He also lamented the incessant vandalisation of traffic lights in Abuja. He explained that “the traffic light situation, about two years ago, most of the traffic light in Abuja failed completely because of wilful vandalisation; you cannot compare what is happening now with what happened two years ago. We have done well as far as traffic light control is concern at the moment. We had to replace the ones that were vandalised by ‘hit and run’ vehicles, as you are replacing they are vandalising, to install one intersection costs as much as N15 million. And we replace about 3 times in a year”.