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NURTW blames Akwa Ibom government for proliferation of illegal motor parks

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Udom Emmanuel

The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has accused the Akwa Ibom State Government of complicity in the proliferation of illegal motor parks in the state.

It said government agencies, which should help to enforce the laws against operations and patronage of illegal parks were actually promoting the illegality.

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Chairman of Itam Long Distance Park, Austine Edet, said the government lacked the political will to stop activities of touts who operate the illegal parks across the state, particularly in Uyo, the state capital.

He explained that the agencies encourage drivers to pick passengers along the way and abandon approved government parks built by former Governor Obong Victor Attah.

He lamented that the five major parks in Uyo had been abandoned for the illegal ones in defiance of the law against their operations, saying there was no enforcement of the extant law.

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Some operators of the government-approved parks in Uyo also blamed officials of the Ministry of Transport and Solid Minerals for the proliferation of the parks.

They lamented the lack of passengers at the government parks due to the development and the ministry’s inability to clamp down on the illegal parks along Aka, Oron, Abak and Ikot Ekpene roads in Uyo.

They also alleged that most of the Illegal parks remit money to senior officials of the ministry who in turn ‘protect’ them by avoiding regulation of the operation of the parks.

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To restore the state’s transportation system, they urged the state government to assist the drivers and road transport operators who have been patronising the government-approved motor parks as the activities of the Illegal parks was impacting negatively on their patronage and posed a huge threat to the security of passengers.

Effort to reach the Commissioner for Transport and Solid Minerals, Etim Uno, for his reaction to the allegations was unsuccessful even after a letter for a scheduled meeting was sent to him on his request.

However, the Akwa Ibom State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Oga Ochi, said the government frowns on the non-usage of the designated motor parks.

Ochi explained that he had met with the State House of Assembly Committee on Works and Transport on the matter, and they had directed the FRSC to work with the relevant agencies to remove illegal motor parks from the state.

He disclosed that plans were already in place to restrict the loading and offloading of passengers to the five approved parks in Uyo before the COVID-19 pandemic affected the arrangement.

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