By Kelechi Ogunleye
Mr Wadata Bodinga, Director, Directorate of Road Transport Services in the FCT, said on Tuesday in Abuja that more than 1,500 impounded commercial motorcycles had been forfeited to the Federal Government.
Bodinga said this during the 2021 national conference of DRTS Directors of the Federation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the FCT DRTS obtained court forfeiture orders on the motorcycles operating illegally within the territory.
Bodinga said additional 700 motorcycles were undergoing the process of court forfeiture.
He said that the Service, in collaboration with the FCT Administration was ready to tackle illegal operations of motorcycles and tricycles in the territory to ensure road security.
He explained that he was perplexed by the increasing number of commercial motorcycles still operating within the city in spite of the seizure of such large numbers.
The director said that the conference, which brought together the directors from the 36 states of the federation, the FCT and other stakeholders, was relevant to promoting safe roads.
“The timing is right as yearends are known for high rate of road crashes because of festivities, political and religious activities,’’ he said.
Bodinga added that the meeting was aimed at discussing effective drivers’ education system and what measures the service could put in place to ensure better driving culture.
He blamed most road crashes on carelessness on the part of vehicles operators.
“People on the wheels don’t drive with care and attention, therefore committing infractions on other road users and this is one of the critical issues that is key to this conference,’’ he said.
In his remarks, FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr Babatope Ajakaiye, frowned at the increasing rate of road casualties in Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s road traffic deaths and accidents are some of the highest in the world. Road crashes in the FCT are of concern to us since we have very good roads in the territory.
“We ordinarily will expect that the good roads will lead to a safer city, but that has not been the reality,’’ he said.
Ajakaiye attributed some of the crashes to the none-use of seat belts, over speeding, failure to obey traffic signals, vandalism of road signals and poor enforcement by appropriate authorities.
Commending the efforts of road traffic operators, he said the conference was aimed at addressing some of the challenges.
Addressing the Directors, he said that their role as managers of traffic was important to enforcement and drivers education.
“I commend you for your efforts in road traffic laws and enforcement in your respective jurisdictions even with the difficult nature of the job,’’ he said.
Ajakaiye said FCT management was committed to improving safe roads in the territory through continuous engagement with important stakeholders in the transportation sector.
“We are working to deploy a solution that will enable us track traffic offenders at the point of traffic offence by tracking them directly through their National Identification Number,’’ he said.
NAN reports that commercial motorcycling also known as “Okada’’ was banned in the FCT city centre in 2005. (NAN)