The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, says his administration has strengthened enforcement in the bid to tackle reckless driving in the nation’s capital.
Bello made the disclosure when he received the management of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) led by its Managing Director, Mr Buki Ponle, on a courtesy visit.
The minister also said the administration’s officials had arrested many offenders.
” Most of the taxis that are in green and white colours in the city are registered, so we have a data base and some of them are uniquely under a specific company.
” Some companies have fleets of 300 to 400 vehicles while some have 150 to 200; so we are able to catch up with them.
” What we do now in some areas that are notorious and very difficult to have enforcement officers all the times is to create some barriers,” the minister said.
According to Bello, offenders are taken to the hospital for psychiatric test to ascertain their mental health while their vehicles are impounded.
” The offenders will pay N10,000 for the mental check-up and if the results show that they have psychiatric problem, then we will keep them at the hospital.
” However, if it is not a psychiatric case, we will take them to the Vehicle Inspection Officer’s office where we have a conference room and then they will make them to pay fine.
” After paying the fine, the vehicle will be parked there and they will come for lessons on good manners of driving for two weeks,” he said.
The minister, who said his administration had been urging the media to embark on naming and shaming of offenders, however, said it had not been receiving the desired cooperation.
Earlier, Ponle had commended the minister for his efforts in ensuring sanity in the nation’s capital, adding that enforcement was very important.
” I am happy you raised this issue of increased surveillance, especially when it comes to enforcement because enforcement is important.
” If there is a law and if there is no enforcement, it is just as if there is no law. But when there is enforcement and punishment, you will remember that if you break the law, punishment is awaiting you.
” So people will think twice before they break the law. I am happy about that,” Ponle said. (NAN)
•PHOTO: Malam Muhammad Bello