Abuja - Painted Abuja Taxi Nigeria Limited (PAT), said on Friday it had an understanding with estate managers to allow painted taxis access to their premises as unpainted taxis were security threats.
The Chairman of PAT, Alhaji Shehu Shugaba, made this known in an interview in Abuja.
Shugaba, who said that the operation of unpainted taxis in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was illegal, explained that painted taxis were safer to use because PAT had the biometric data of the drivers and owners of the taxis in its databank.
According to him, the availability of the data of both driver and car owner makes it easy to identify any of the vehicles when the need arises.
"We have actually resolved with the Estate Managers to allow our painted taxis to go into their premises because we are organised, we also have our biometric data they captured and also same has been submitted to the transport sector for easy identification.
"The problem of residents of FCT is that they like to patronise those things that the government does not recognise.
"Those illegal operators we call `Kabu Kabu’ are not recognised at all in FCT; they are a security threat to FCT and the residents of FCT.
"And that is why we appeal to commuters to patronise painted taxis because they can be easily identified, we have their data here and we also have their data with the government.
"We also have a side number written boldly on the side of the vehicle so that if you board a vehicle what you need to do is just copy the side number of the vehicle.
"If you have a problem and you call us, we will be able to get the vehicle for you."
Shugaba said that FCT Administration recognised only five operators of painted taxis with each operator having its own colour, code and name for easy identification.
He identified the operators as Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association (SECDA), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Painted Abuja Taxi Nig. Ltd (PAT), and Heritage Nig. Ltd.
The chairman said that the essence of capturing the biometric data of cab drivers was to tackle the incidence of "one chance operators’’ and guarantee the safety of commuters.
Shugaba warned that unpainted cabs could be very difficult to track should the need arise.
He, therefore, appealed to commuters to patronise only painted cabs to ensure the safety of their lives and property.
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