One of the leading private taxi operators in the Federal Capital Territory, Painted Abuja Taxis (PAT) Nigeria Limited, has thrown its weight behind the plan by the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) to issue special identification numbers to commercial drivers operating in the territory.
Chairman/Chief Executive of PAT, Comrade Shehu Shugaba Yar’Adua, said his organisation has nothing against the scheme as it would further protect the interest of registered members and guard against the activities of ‘unlicensed (Kabukabu) operators.
Shehu, who made this known in a chat on Sunday in Abuja, said the association would continue to collaborate with relevant government agencies, including DRTS – also known as Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), to ensure better service delivery
for Abuja’s commuters.
“We have agreed to join VIO newly created scheme for the benefit of Abuja residents,” he said.
Speaking further, the PAT boss said the organisation has also rolled out an App which allow FCT residents to book for taxis online as very affordable rates.
He said the online App, Abuja Taxi, can be easily accessed through the use of phones, computer and other related electronic devices.
Recall that the FCT VIO had recently announced its plan to issue special identification numbers to commercial drivers operating in the territory.
The DRTS’ Director, Mr Wadata Bodinga, said that commercial vehicles without the number would not be allowed to operate within the territory.
“The side numbers would be boldly written at the bonnet, rear and the doors of vehicles.
“The numbers cannot be faked because we are the ones to issue the numbers with the hacking permit.
“It would also help us determine the number of taxis that are actually operating in the city,” he said.
He said the scheme would also ensure that each vehicle must have undergone ‘Revalidation’ by the agency before a side number is issued to the vehicle owner.
“When you come for that revalidation, you would be tested alongside the vehicle, we will get relevant information on the safety condition of the vehicle itself, “he said.
Bodinga noted that through the numbers, VIO would find out whether the vehicles are road worthy or meets the operational standard guidelines of the directorate.
“And if not, then the vehicle wouldn’t be issued an official side number which would warrant you to operate in the FCT.
“And even if you are coming from another state, as long as you are going to do intra service within the city then you must subject yourself to the new rules.
“If your driver’s licence was not collected in the FCT we must equally give you our FCT drivers permit which you must have before operating in the FCT,” he said.
Bodinga said the essence of the identification was to ensure safety and service efficiency of commuters and motorists respectively.