By Saheed Ibrahim
As part of efforts to address insecurity in the state, especially those involving commercial vehicles and motorists, Ondo State government has directed all taxi drivers to register their data and vehicles with the State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS) and State Information Technology Agency (SITA).
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Dr Doyin Odebowale made this known while briefing newsmen at the ODIRS boardroom in Akure yesterday.
Odebowale emphasised that the move was to ensure residents of the state are safe while boarding commercial vehicles.
He said the state would not accept any other form of registration from any commercial driver or vehicle except the registration with SITA or through the ODIRS, laying emphasis on the need for all commercial drivers to possess valid driver’s license before registration.
He also stressed that the documents for the vehicle registrations must be valid and genuine as expired documents and drivers licence would not be accepted as well as no proxy registration would be allowed.
“Nobody is permitted to register any vehicle other than SITA. SITA will register and capture the data of the drivers and the vehicles.
He added that both the driver and the vehicle will be registered upon payment of N2,000 each, adding that any taxi drivers without a vehicle must also register before driving any taxi on the road.
He displayed an identification card that would be issued to every taxi driver upon payment, as well as a special number that would be assigned to every registered vehicle.
The SSA stressed that no private vehicle will be allowed to operate as taxi in the state, saying that all taxis must bear the state commercial colour (blue and yellow)
“We’ll be impounding vehicles any moment from now. This exercise is going to take three months in the first instance because we don’t want to create any stampede and we don’t want it to be seen as punitive. We are not against anybody.”
Odebowale said that registration for interstate buses and trucks would commence soon.
Also speaking, the Chairman, SITA, Mr Olumbe Akinkugbe, said all personnel to be deployed for the exercise had been trained and ready to commence immediately
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Agency for Transport in Ondo State, Ogundele Kayode said proper sensitisation of commercial motorists as well as the residents of the state would be done and the exercise was for the well-being of the state.
He said the agency would do its best to ensure compliance and track down erring commercial motorists.