At last, Abia govt bans removal of vehicle plate numbers by task force
* Says action criminal
By Steve Oko
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has banned the removal of vehicle number plates by persons suspected to be revenue collection agents of Local Governments in the state and urged citizens to report anyone attempting to remove such number plates to the nearest police station.
The ban is sequel to public outcry against the activities of the task force on single lane parking particularly in Umuahia North which has dealt ruthlessly with motorists who parked at unauthorized places which are most times not clearly indicated.
Members of the callous task force mainly thugs show no respect or decorum in dealing with the acclaimed offenders as they collect up to N10,000 from them before releasing the confiscated plate numbers.
The task force also did not discriminate against places of worship as churches within the city centre became their targets.
Worshipers who parked on the shoulder of the road around their church premises had their plate numbers removed while they were inside the church only to see a paper directing them to come to the Council Headquarters for payment and collection later.
Sometimes the task force members who operated with impunity and most times unchallenged by their hapless victims collected sums ranging between N500 and N2000 as bribe to avoid taking the removed plate number to Council Headquarters where the supposed offender would pay higher.
The practice had gone on for about three years now despite public outcries.
But fielding questions from journalists during an interactive program anchored at Real 99.1 FM station in Aba, Governor Ikpeazu described the act of removing vehicle number plates as criminal behavior.
He directed security agents to arrest and prosecute those engaged in the act. He pointed out that the state government only collects revenue through Abia State Internal Revenue Service and pleaded with citizens not to succumb to proposals to pay cash to any revenue enforcement agent.
Governor Ikpeazu who listed more than 16 road project sites where state contractors are currently working, assured residents of Ngwa, Ohanku and Obohia roads that his administration will reconstruct the roads in the area and deliver durable roads that will meet international road construction standards. He informed that the contractor handling Faulks Road Aba, Setraco Construction, will return to site next week to commence work on the binding course for the road with a view to handing over the road before the end of the dry season.
The Governor called on citizens to take advantage of the new Abia SME Microfinance Bank to finance their trade and SME development projects. According to him, “With the setting up of the first automated shoe factory in Aba, our people can travel to Togo and other West African countries to get orders for military boots and apply to the SME Microfinance bank to fund the supply at very low interest rate without the need for landed or such other properties as collaterals”.
On the flyover project, Governor Ikpeazu restated that the project which was commenced in 2017 will likely be realized within the first quarter of 2020 and called on citizens to be patient while his administration works out how to finance many more road infrastructure development projects. He further announced that the contractor handling Immaculate Avenue in Aba has returned to site and will complete the project soon while the asphalt overlay for portions of Eziukwu Road will be undertaken this dry season.[email protected]; [email protected] Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.