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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Imo Govt May Phase Out Tricylce Operators in Owerri Soon


There are strong indications that Imo State government may soon  phase out commercial tricycle operators in the State .

The operators were said to have been hinted of such plans in a meeting recently with officials of the Okorocha administration.

 The operators constituted 80 % of the support base of the governor which contributed significantly to his election as governor in 2011 and re- election in 2015.

A source who spoke to INNONEWS.COM said the plan to phase out tricycle operators popularly known as keke was based on the need and desire of the State governor, Rochas Okorocha to transform Owerri to a modern city- an idea the governor has tinkered with for a very long time
As a substitute, the source said, the government has purchased several motor cabs to ease off  the transportation needs of the masses who rely on keke as a means of  movement in and round Owerri municipality and beyond.

At the said meeting, the operators were said to have been informed to seek for alternative routes of carrying out their businesses since the state government is bent on going ahead with phasing out the operations of the Keke operators.

It was gathered that as a replacement the registered Keke operators will be given the cabs for a fee ranging from N400,000 cash per unit and N1.2 million naria for hire purchase.

This development appears not to have gone down well with some operators who say it is strange for the state government to contemplate such action since over 30, 000 registered operators in the State have remained the pillar of support of the Okorocha administration.

Keke has been the major means of transportation in Owerri. It was introduced by the Ikedi Ohakim administration after phasing out the use of motorcycles as means of transportation.

The operators which has become a powerful force for political purposes has remained a strong ally of the Rochas government in Imo State. It was re-branded and named Imo Pilots by the present administration to enhance efficiency and control.

No state government official agreed to confirm such plans were really underway to scarp their operations but this newspaper gathered that such plans has been on the wish- list  of the state government after several motor cabs purchased by the government has been sited at Naze, a small village close to Owerri and Heros Square, a large space of land where state functions are held.

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