Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, on Thursday, launched 610 taxis, tricycles and buses to enhance urban mass transportation in Maiduguri metropolis. Maiduguri metropolis extends to three local government areas of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and parts of Jere and Konduga local government areas.
Zulum, while inaugurating the 610 means of transportation, 100 Toyota LE cars for city taxis, 500 tricycles popularly known as ‘Keke NAPEP’ and 10 Ashok Leyland buses each with capacity for 41 passengers and 10 buses left under the custody of Borno Express Transport Corporation for intracity services, said the 500 tricycles were allocated to 2000 operators with each tricycle owned by a group of four unemployed persons, the 100 taxis were also allocated to 200 persons with each to be owned by two, making a total of 2,200, the number of persons who benefited from the tricycles and taxis.
According to the governor, the modalities for the distribution were arrived at after meeting are held with leaders of different associations of Keke NAPEP operators who informed him that some of their members form groups to own tricycles and they have their ways of jointly managing them and sharing profits.
The State Commissioner for Transport, Dr Abubakar Tijjani, assured the governor of effective and efficient supervision to ensure functional deployment to routes in line with the governor’s goal of increasing access to mass transport in the metropolis.
On security integrated into the tricycles and taxis, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Bexil Computers & Communications, Yusuf
Hayatuddeen, said each of the 500 tricycles has digital stickers from which passengers can use smart phones to access essential data of all operators. He also explained that with the stickers, movements of the tricycles will be tracked to ensure each operator only operates within communities they are expected to serve.
Aside the 2,200 persons allocated the tricycles and taxis, Governor Zulum also granted N50m to 1000 members of different Keke NAPEP operators who did not benefit from the launch given the fact that the associations have thousands of members, some of whom either own tricycles or work as riders and spare-riders.
The 1,000 persons were to each receive N50,000 as social support.
A combined total of 3,200 youths benefitted from the distribution of the tricycles, taxis and grant.