The governor of ABIA State His Excellency Okezie Ikpeazu has remained the best listening Governor whose youth empowerment programs are geared towards creating jobs, development and establishment of the youth to be self employed in a security serene environment. The recent creation of 3 tricycle associations is moved to break the monopoly and its attendant evils on the tricycle operators. The average tricycle rider in Abia State is a slave operating under most wicked and suffocating conditions created by fellow man who derives his wealth by sucking the financial blood of the tricycle operators.
For the avoidance of doubts average keke on abia street is under a hirer purchase system. The cost of hire purchase is One Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,200,000.00) to be exhausted under one year and if at the due date the hireree defaults, even if it remains N50000, he looses the machine. It is important to note that it is the operator that is responsible for all the running costs and other incidentals which he must bear and they include payment of N50 at every police check points and this is numerous, BIR daily ticket N100.00 x 264 working days is N264,000 pa ASPIMS Emblem N1000, Local Government Emblem N500, ASEPA bucket N1000, Union daily ticket N50 x 264 working days N13.200 pa, Riders Permit N3500, paint N6000, Registration N2000 totalling N273,200 taxes and levies payable by a tricycle operator in 2020. If you add this to N1.2m + N273,200 you’ll get One Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Three Thousand, Two Hundred Naira only to be incurred excluding the police wahala. We at ATRIWA reject this condition as hell on tricycle and fashioned ways of ameliorating the situation. Prior to the creation of ATRIWA, registration of new keke was N13,000 we brought it down to N2000 and we are set to bring down hire purchase to N700,000. It is unfortunate that those who claim to be brothers to the system are the ones who drop names of people in government in other to abuse the system. When the government directed the three tricycle operators to paint the Abia Color, they were directed to paint the tricycle of their members (see government press release above) It was then that one Simple Nwamkpa and Abraham approached me that they are given authority to paint and as a law abiding citizen I admitted them, provided premises for them and bought painting machines. They introduced me to expert painter whom they said painted for them in Umuahia and I engaged his services. Simple Nwamkpa said they will provide the paint which is special and they kept the price very high. I complained and the governor also complained of the exorbitant price and this was unaffordable to the keke operators as a result many were unable to paint as the deadline was fast approaching. To beat the time, SATOA had to paint his color free of charge and we were fast loosing members because of high price. I therefore went into market research and engaged a color expert who gave us the government color at a very reduced price and better quality and we embarked on painting for our members. Simple Nwamkpa and Abraham now gave false information to the police and came our depot to arrest our painters. Up till now, they have not shown me any authority document showing they are government painter. The ministry of transport upon all the meetings we held with the Deputy Governor, BIR, TIMAS police and DSS, no one mentioned that a particular person must paint the tricycle for it to be Abia Color. The Abia Law that created Abia Color did not assign such power to anybody nor did it create any agency for the purpose. We obey the law and abide by the directives of government but cannot yield to any intimidation of those who drop the name of the governor and family to tarnish their good intention towards the youth empowerment and development programs. The government should please call Simple Nwamkpa and Abraham to order to avoid chaos in Aba. We have painted under the harsh economic conditions and cannot succumb to the uncontrollable greed of some people in power who want to hide under the power of their appointments to perpetuate hardship to already saddled citizens. Please goverment have pity, we plead. St. Moses Ogbonna. Convener of ATRIWA.