Mini- and medium-capacity buses (popularly known as Coaster) remain banned from operating within Abuja city centre. To this effect, a major push is underway, and with immediate effect, to clamp down on operators of the vehicles who choose to violate the ban.

These were disclosed by Transport Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Comrade Kayode Opeifa while addressing management staff of the FCTA Transport Secretariat last week. Opeifa defended the ban, saying it is in accordance with the city’s transportation master plan.

Opeifa said the reminder (on the ban) had become necessary following the number of such buses, most of which are rickety, that presently ply FCT roads. He directed officers and personnel of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) to expedite enforcement immediately as these classes of buses were not permitted to ply the roads in the city centre.

He said recent meetings with the leadership of the Bus Drivers’ Association and other relevant unions were enough sensitization. ”The operators need to show a little patriotism to understand that government has done its part which is why they must comply with the directive,” he added.

The Transport Secretary explained that laws are made to be obeyed and for the FCTA, in its wisdom, to outlaw the use of mini and medium capacity buses in the city centre, the measure has to be respected. Opeifa blamed the leadership of DRTS for some of the lapses and urged them to work closely with relevant security agencies to ensure that these classes of buses were removed from the city forthwith.

It will be recalled that FCTA had about 10 years ago banned the use of mini buses popularly called ‘Araba’ with the measure taking extra efforts from the authorities, the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to enforce.

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