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Maiduguri’s Rising Transport Commotion

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Maiduguri’s Rising Transport Commotion

In a city of an estimated 1,907,600 populations as of 2007 according to World Gazetteer, plus the influx of more than 100,000 IDPs into Maiduguri. The city has no public transport system, it solely relies on tricycles (Keke NAPEP) as the only means of public transportation.

With the ban on the importation of tricycles into the state by the Zullum administration with no meaningful alternative, it has led to serious difficulty in moving from one place to another by the public. The administration has tried tackling the issue by deploying School Busses which is still not enough and not the right move.

This has led to most people waiting 30 minutes to 1 hour on the road before they can get a tricycle of their destination. Sometimes the tricycles are overloaded which might lead to loss of lives. The situation is worst on Saturdays and Sundays when the city is busy with marriages both in Churches and Muslim homes. People are always seen trekking back home after ceremonies because public transportation is not enough to convey passengers.

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Students are not left out in Maiduguri’s rising transport commotion, most students have missed examinations due to a few tricycles to convey them to school. They also trek home sometimes or fight their way to get into the school busses provided by the Zullum administration. They are now faced with bus thieves that steal mostly smartphones and any other valuable thing they can lay their hands on.

Rumors have it that the Zullum administration is planning on importing its own branded tricycles and taxis to ease the hardship. We hope they are true and will come soonest.

I believe this situation has brought about an institutional gap that needs filling as soon as possible. The private sector needs to tap into this opportunity to provide an easy alternative means of transportation. Individuals can also grab the opportunity to start providing such services.

I think what Maiduguri needs to do is to deploy shuttle and minibuses to support the tricycles in transporting passengers or better still lift the ban on the importation of tricycles to ease up the difficulty face by the populace.

There is no doubt that the ban has led to the reduction of crime by tricycle riders. The registration and documentation of tricycles and tricycle riders by the Borno State Traffic Management Agency (BOTMA) has also played a major role in this regard.

BOTMA is also tasked with the collection of tax from tricycle riders as a means of IGR for the state. The system which tricycle riders disapprove of but have no choice to comply. Each tricycle pays 100 Naira per day or pays 3,000 Naira per month.

The Zullum administration needs to consider different ways to solve this lingering problem faced by the public, Governor Zullum is known to be more concerned about his people and their welfare, easing this problem for them will go a long way in reconfirming his concerns.

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