By Favour Nnabugwu
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, Mallam Muhammed Bello said that his administration currently generates N200 billion annually through an aggressive revenue drive in the territory
The Minister stated this in Abuja on today when he featured at the 40th Session of the State House Briefing, organised by Presidential Communication Team, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mallam Bello said the sum of N1 billion (N500 million each) has been set aside to renovate the National Mosque and National Christian Center, to make them presentable tourists sites for visitors into the city of Abuja.
The Minister while fielding questions from State House correspondents on the security situation in the FCT and the menace of the Motorcycle Riders known Okada, said the people (Okada Riders) have turned to criminal menace.
Speaking on the efforts to rid the FCT of the criminal menace, the Directorate of the Road Transport Service of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, said that commercial motorcyclists would now require license to operate within the FCT and its suburbs.
The Director, DRTS, Dr Bello Abdullateef, explained that apart from the traffic violations, the riders were also being used to deliver hard drugs across the city.
According to Abdullateef, “The menace arising from many Okada riders is not just about traffic violations but also perpetration of crime. Okada is also used to deliver hard drugs across the city.
“It requires a multi sectoral approach to deal with the menace. We are introducing riders certification for those using okada for dispatch activities.
“Therefore, until you are verified by the directorate of road transport service you may not be able to ride a bike across Abuja. We are remodeling the licensing and regulations as well.
“These would be carried out to dissuade the use of Okada. Total ban has been suggested but it sti being considered.”
“Some of the contiguous states are already banning. And if we don’t ban it, FCT will be a dumping ground in a few years,” he added.
The FCT Minister while answering questions on demolition of illegal structures said though it was not his priority, it has become inevitable in order to save lives..
“We will continue to save lives that is why we have to demolish illegal structures. We encourage the people to follow the rules and regulations. We will do what is beneficial to the highest number of people.”