Monday, 23 March 2020

'100 Marian boys' are frustrating gov't revenue generation -Commercial Taxi Drivers disclose


23 March 2020

The supposed illegal and nefarious activities of some staff of the state Commercial Transport Regulatory Agency CTRA popularly called '100 Marian' have been attributed to profoundly undermining the revenue generation stream of the Cross River State Government CRSG from the transport sector NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered. 

The leadership of the Unified Commercial Taxi Drivers Association UCTDA in the state while paying a courtesy call on the Chairman of CTRA on Friday accused his staff called '100 Marian boys' of victimising legitimate commercial taxi drivers who have registered with government, renewed their registration and purchase their tickets while at the same time doing underground dealings with illegitimate commercial drivers in the state capital. 

While addressing Mr. Gabriel Adah the chair of CTRA on the challenges faced by stakeholders in the state transport sector, the chairman of Commercial Taxi Drivers in the state, Pst. Thomas Effiong said thus: 'Coming to the mode of operations of some of your boys. We have so many issues we've been trying to work on since the last administration till now. So many of your staff are 'covering' vehicles. I don't have a problem with them covering vehicles, but the problem I have is victimising those who have legitimately registered their vehicles and are doing the right thing. You victimise them so that they will run out of government to come and be under your cover. 

'Because, as a human being I am doing business, I see my colleague misbehaving on the road and nobody is holding my colleague, and I am trying to keep the law and my vehicle is impounded I will ask that my colleague, what's the secret? If that his secret is beneficial to me, I will leave and go there. That is how your agency is loosing revenue. Because of covering from your boys. They will victimise those who have done the official thing. So, sir I don't have a problem with coverage, but they should allow those who have registered their vehicles, renewed officially, bought their tickets to operate without victimisation.'

Pst. Effiong also drew attention of the CTRA boss to the numerous illegal levies enforced on commercial taxi drivers and various other ministries who are enforcing these financial deductions: 'One, there are so many enforcements. Why we are reporting to you sir as our first port of call is that you are the person solely responsible in regulating our activities. Every other person that comes in may just jump in if you permit. The Bible says while men slept the enemy sowed tares. 

'There are so many issues with the transport sector. Everybody is an enforcement. Everybody wants to enforce on the transport sector. But Mr. Chairman, looking at the laws we have in the transport sector, which are only two laws in Cross River State: the Commercial Transport Regulatory Law, and the Traffic Management Agency Law. And by the grace of God, His Excellency just changed DOPT officially to Traffic Management Agency. These are the two agencies that have the direct dealing with us'.

Continuing, Pst Effiong added that: 'So sir, the issue of enforcement. We don't know, that's why I think we should have a synergy to look at the illegal enforcement in town. We have wrong parking, no parking, Ministry of Environment is enforcing, Ministry of Transport is enforcing. We want to know if there is no synergy in government? Because I think if any of the government agencies wants to enforce anything in the transport sector, they should liaise with the Commercial Transport Regulatory Agency CTRA, if it has to do with commercial transportation. 

'Except it has to do with the general public, but if it has to do with commercial transportation, I think the first port of call should be your office, to tell you we want to enforce so so so things on this people you're regulating. I want to find out if you've given a go ahead on all these enforcement? If you've not, why do you keep quiet to look at things go wrong?'

For Effiong, there are issues and there will always be issues but, the ability to mitigate them is what makes them human beings and proactive human. The commercial taxi drivers chief called on a symbiotic relationship while suing for building better things. He disclosed that he knew that there are many issues in the transport sector which cannot be solved automatically. But noted that 'We would believe if there are deliberate efforts to reduce them, it will help us.'

On his part, Adah thanked the executive of Unified Commercial Taxi Drivers Association for paying him the courtesy visit while promising that 'if you see any body who tells you not to register or renew your registration but pay N1, 000 personally to him for cover, just drive down here and report them to me, I will sack them no matter who you are; please just help me, don't be afraid'. Adah tasked the leadership of UCTDA to encourage their members to register with CTRA and renew their registration: 'I hope after this meeting, on Monday, I will see heavy traffic here'. 



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