Saturday, 1 September 2012
Bayelsa injects taxis to replace motorcycles-RESTORATION CITY CABS
Bayelsa state government has injected 300 ‘ restoration city cabs’ to replace motor cycles as a means of transportation in the capital of Yenagoa.
Gov. Seriake Dickson who unveiled the taxis, 100 of which are tricycles, at the official commissioning said, “What you are seeing here today, as good as it is, is just the beginning. We want a transportation system that is second to none. Our aspiration is to turn the state into another London that will be haven to tourists and investors from all over the world.’’
The governor said that when he announced the ban on commercial motorcycle transport, popularly known as ‘Okada’, many of his critics said that the previous administration did same and did not solve the transport problem in the state.
He said, “I have been on the saddle for just six months now, and I expected that the people should know the difference. The difference is that when we say something, we mean it and we do it.”
Dickson called on the beneficiaries of the cab, who he urged to be good ambassadors of the state, to ensure maximum use of the cabs.
He warned that he would withdraw the cabs from any of them found to have converted it into personal use.
“This is a test scheme, so make good use of it so that we would not be discouraged. You are not to pack it in your homes as a private car, but rather put them to maximum use for the benefit of our people”, the governor said.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Marie Ebikake, lauded the vision of Dickson in initiating the new transport scheme to replace the operation of commercial motorcycles.
She said, “Our governor had seen the sufferings of the people in using `okada’, with daily incidence of accidents, including motorcycle aided robberies and other transport inconveniences that is common in our state capital.”
The commissioner said that the initial ban on okada transport expired on July 31, but that the state government decided to extend it by a month following the public outcry, which compelled the governor to extend it to Aug. 31.
“From today, the avoidable accidents of Okada that had led to many deaths and disability among our people will be a thing of the past.
“No more motorcycle-aided robbery and people can now move freely both in the rain and sunshine,” Ebikake said.
The commissioner said that the first batch of the scheme witnessed the procurement of 100 tricycles and 200 mini-saloon cars, which she described as comfortable and roomy” vehicles to run transportation in the state.
The commissioner said that the vision of Dickson was not limited to the purchase of the taxi cabs alone.
She said that the state government was negotiating with a reputable motor company for the purchase of buses to support the scheme in order to reduce the cost of transportation in the state