Residents further stated that a bad transportation system had made transport fares unregulated as drivers charge commuters using their discretion.
Some residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have raised concerns over the unregulated and poor transportation system in the territory and urged the government to weed out unregistered transporters.
The residents said in separate interviews with a Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that this was important in view of the security challenges in the FCT. They said allowing every vehicle to be turned into ‘taxis’ should be a source of concern to the authorities.
A Civil Servant, Mrs. Remilekun Adeoye, said it was a serious security concern that the FCTA and security agencies were allowing private vehicles to be transporting commuters without any permit. Adeoye said that due to the sharp increase in fuel prices, many private car owners now operate taxi services illegally.
“This development could endanger lives as it is now difficult to identify genuine drivers from criminals intending to rob or kidnap.
“Though the incidence of traffic robbers, locally called ‘one-chance’, has reduced drastically in the territory, this emerging challenge may create new security issues,” she added.
Mr Ikenna Opara, a timber trader at Kugbo Timber market, said that Abuja the capital city of the nation, ought to have a properly regulated transportation system.
“It is unfortunate that the Federal Government, most especially the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), seems to have no interest in ensuring a standardized transportation system.
“The problem is not peculiar to Abuja alone, but getting the transport system right in the FCT would inspire states to follow suit.
“The Federal Government should complete the Abuja metro rail line and sanction the use of unregistered vehicles for commercial transportation,” Opara said.
A National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Mr Isah Yusuf, said: “I can recall very well when I was growing up that the only taxis you will see on the road in Abuja are the green, white, green painted taxis.
“There were no buses or `agberos’ (touts) allowed but now Lagos seem to be even more regulated in terms of transportation, which is unfortunate.
“I really don’t know if the FCT Minister and his team don’t see these things or they just look away because they don’t look forward to having that beautiful Abuja we used to know.”
Another resident who pleaded anonymity said that the high cost of fuel had negatively affected the business of commercial motorists, adding that because of the bad conditions of most taxis in the FCT, residents now prefer to board private cars due to comfort.
She however said that the bad transportation system had made transport fares unregulated as drivers charge commuters using their discretion.
“A trip you pay ₦500 in the morning will be ₦700 in the evening, and when one complains, you are either told to drop or insulted.
“The private car drivers are so fond of this now because they feel they are at liberty to do as they like once they tip the touts.
“Touts who were sacred to stand at a bus stop, now harass drivers openly and collect tips from drivers,” she said.