Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The FCT Administration and its partners are set to pioneer the country’s first taxi drivers’ graduate scheme.
The Managing Director of MTI Taxi Limited, Alfred Ajagbe, disclosed this during the launch of the Safe, Functional and Efficient Transport Policy in Abuja, by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello.
Ajagbe, said the company had acquired 23 brand new cars for the scheme. The initiative was to encourage graduates to become self- employed.
The partnership is a collaboration with an organ of FCTA, the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), which recruited, took biometrics and trained the graduates on business management. The graduates, according to him, are going to drive the cars as driver owners.
“The scheme is cashless, which means there is integrity in collection of money that passengers are paying so they are going to pay back effectively the cost of the car, make their own income and after a few years they can even ask for another car, so our plan is in the next few years, they can even own a fleet.
“We have another scheme for people from outside who may be able to buy five to 20 cars, add it to our fleet, we take over the vehicle and we manage the business for them,” Ajagbe said.
He added that the vehicles would solely ply Abuja and are fully insured.
They also have trackers in them. Similarly, he said the colour is licensed by Transport Secretariat of the FCT, adding that the pronouncement of FCT Minister that unpainted taxis will be licensed as long as they are regulated, is welcome.
“We have been fighting on that, if you give us restrictions that we must have comfortable taxis that are air conditioned, that are available to everybody, somebody is doing business in Lagos, is coming to Abuja, he takes a taxi to Federal Secretariat they said he cannot enter, he takes to a hotel he cannot enter, it doesn’t make sense”, Ajagbe noted.