Nigeria: Ikpeazu speaks out on the “infamous” activities of the leaders of the task force in Abia

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“In a time like this, where there is tension in the country, and all kinds of people are showing up as task forces in the streets, and harassing people will not be welcome.”

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the Abia State said his administration is poised to improve the ease of doing business in Abia.

Mr. Ikpeazu said this Thursday in Umuahia during a one-day stakeholder summit on the theme: “Streamlining the multiplicity of working groups”.

The event was organized by the State Department of Transportation.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Ude Oko, said the proliferation of task forces was creating tension in the state due to their harmful activities against residents.

He further stated that the multiplicity of working groups hinders the state from attracting investment.

He therefore urged stakeholders to support the government’s efforts to transform the state.

“In a time like this, where there is tension in the country, and all kinds of people are showing up as task forces in the streets, and harassing people will not be welcome.

“A few years ago, the state was top of the list and highly regarded as an investment destination.

“However, recent assessments have shown that Abia is not doing well in business.

“We will do everything humanly possible to improve the situation by dealing with any activity that gives the state a bad image,” Mr. Ikpeazu said.

In his remarks, Transport Commissioner Godswill Nwanoruo said the ministry plans to create a single task force in the transport sector, as part of its strategy to tackle the multiplicity of task forces in the State.

“I believe that creating a great and strong single task force will help reduce the level of lawlessness and improper conduct found in the system.

“This will enable a step-by-step but potentially transformative change that will bring a new electronic traffic management system,” Mr Nwanoruo said.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Ijeoma Okere, said the multiplicity of the task force was draining revenue generation and also creating a bad image for the government.

Ms. Okere said the ministry is close to stopping the activities of the unapproved working groups through the implementation of the relevant laws.

The state president of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Eugene Eze, praised the ministry for organizing the summit and taking the decision to create a single task force for the state.

Mr. Eze said this would make the transport business in the state viable, adding that the move would also give players in the sector a sense of ownership.

Earlier, a resource person at the event, Callistus Ibe, said transport has played a major role in society, describing it as a variable in any government program for growth.

He urged the government to apply technology to streamline the multiplicity of the working group.

Professor Ibe called on the government to initiate a transport policy and a roadmap to define the functions of the existing task forces in the state.

(NOPE)

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