FCT minister, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the demolition of a cinema house, shops and eateries operating illegally in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.
The head of operations at the Directorate of Road Transport Services (DRTS), Deborah Osho, disclosed this on Friday during a demolition exercise at Area 3 and Banex Junction Taxi Ranks, in Abuja.
At the Area 3 Taxi Rank, the DRTS team, supported by security agencies, demolished a car wash, mechanic workshop, cinema house, and eateries among others, operating illegally.
At Banex Junction Taxi Rank, the taxis were not using the ranks as they had been taken over by miscreants, who were using the space to sell hard drugs and adulterated fuel and diesel.
Osho, who led the team, explained that the measure was to give room for more taxis to operate within the ranks.
This, according to her, will discourage illegal taxi parks across the city that sprang up on grounds that there was not enough space in the taxi ranks.
She added that the move would also address the menace of “one chance” operators, who took advantage of the illegal parks to perpetuate their evil deeds.
Osho explained that the decision to demolish and clear the taxi ranks of all illegal structures was reached after a meeting with transport stakeholders on the need for a cleaner and serene environment in FCT.
“On Monday, the DRTS invited all the stakeholders in the transportation sector for a meeting, and one of the resolutions was to clear the tax ranks for taxis to operate inside the ranks,” she said.
“We have equally handed over a space around Eagle Square for taxi operators to use as temporary taxi rank, to stop the menace of illegal parks around the Federal Secretariat.
“We are prepared to clean all taxi ranks in 2024, to ensure that motorists board taxis inside the taxi ranks and not outside.
“This in the long run, will address the menace of ‘one chance’ in the city,” she added.
Also speaking, Dr. Peter Olumuji, secretary, Command and Control Centre, Department of Security Service, FCTA, said: “One chance happens when people do not have a secured taxi rank to board vehicles.
“We have gone round with DRTS officials; we noticed that most of the taxi ranks were occupied by people that were not meant to be there, and not given room to taxi owners to use the space.
“But as we clear these illegal structures, more vehicles will be coming into the ranks, so that commuters will be able to board safe and secured taxis to their various destinations.”
To sustain the clean taxi ranks operations, Olumuji said there was a need for more personnel of DRTS and vehicular assets to move to every nuke and crannies of the city.