The Seyi Makinde led Oyo state government on Thursday expressed its readiness to introduce an identification system for commercial motorcyclists operating within the state in order to check crimes and the influx of bad elements into the state.
The governor also ordered the immediate reduction of the daily levy to be paid by commercial cyclists from N200 to N100 per day.
The State’s Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof Raphael Afonja, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen in Ibadan added that Governor Makinde does not want to add to the burden of the people of the state.
The Commissioner stated that in order to control crimes being associated with motorcyclists and the influx of commercial motorcyclists into Oyo State, the government will, in due course, issue Riders’ Card to all registered commercial motorcyclists in the state.
He noted that this will enable the government to differentiate registered commercial motorcyclists from criminal elements, who are using motorcycles to operate.
“We have concluded that, due to what happened in Lagos State, which has led to an influx of people moving from Lagos into Oyo State, there is a need to have Okada Riders’ Card to identify people coming into the state.
“So, in collaboration with the revenue collector for the state and FRSC and the unions, we will start this to gather information on those who are engaging in commercial or private cycling businesses in the state. This is possible through profiling. The security agencies are in need of these pieces of information”, he said.
Afonja explained that the Riders’ Cards would afford the government the opportunity to have a database of the riders across the state, saying: “So, this registration of motorcyclists through the Riders’ Cards will be a database for us to know who is who; who owns what; who they are, where they live and the rest. We will also add their BVN to know who they really are.
“Recently, you may have heard about snatching of bikes and robberies using motorcycles. That is why we are trying to make sure that all motorcycles in Oyo State are properly registered. We will ensure they do what is needful to make sure they obey the law.
The commissioner added that Governor Makinde ordered the immediate reduction of the daily levy charge on commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists in the state from N200 to N100 to ameliorate the suffering of the riders.
He said: “This press conference is being held in response to the recent pronouncement by the Ministry of Finance and the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue regarding the state revenue that we have been collecting from tricycles and motorcycle riders in the state.
“From the information that was passed down to us by the Ministry of Finance and BIR, we were told that it was agreed upon that the consultant was to collect 200 Naira as a daily collection from these commercial bikers including tricycles and motorcycles.
“Upon escalating this issue to the governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, we found out he was not in support of this increase in the revenue collection from N100 to N200. So, I want to apologise to the unions and other stakeholders who are affected by the increment.
“The governor has instructed me to pass this information on that his goal is to ensure that people’s money remain in their pockets to take care of their families. So, he has gracefully reduced this fee from N200 to N100.
“He also believes that this change will trickle down to the people who are in the markets and will help people and their families.
“In addition to that, we have met with those in the quarries to include the union people. They are excited, understanding that the fact that the governor has listening ears. The governor met with them physically. He understands their cry and he has assured them of his support.”
Professor Afonja added that the revenue collectors would be at every park from tomorrow morning [Friday], urging the commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists to cooperate with them.
“Moving forward, commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists will be paying 100 Naira to a revenue consultant daily and this will commence tomorrow morning (Friday)”
Covid-19: Save UCH now, Oyo NUJ appeals to Buhari
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council on Sunday appealed to the Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to save the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and provide it with enough funding to cater for the ravaging Coronavirus otherwise known as Covid-19.
The Union also frowned at recent development at the foremost teaching hospital in Nigeria, with confirmed four cases from its board and management.
In a release/tweet released by the CMD of the Hospital, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo, he explained how he contracted the virus and tested positive for Covid-19.
The hospital management also confirmed that the Provost college of Medicine and his deputy also tested positive.
The fourth is the chairman of the board who had allegedly tested positive for the virus.
The NUJ in a press statement by its Chairman, Comrade Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Sola Oladapo wondered why due diligence was not done to ascertain the condition of all attendees at the meeting?
The Union also expressed concern on why the meeting had to hold despite the ongoing efforts to control Covid-19 spread in the state?
According to the NUJ, the CMD despite his knowledge of his exposure to a suspected case still went ahead granting interviews to journalists without warning them of his vulnerability.
The union viewed this act “as irresponsible and avoidable.”
The NUJ has therefore called on the Federal Government to stop paying lip service to the hospital.
It tasked the government to devise means of specially funding the UCH to prepare adequately for this pandemic.
“The reason to call for better funding of the UCH stemmed from the recent statement of the CMD, soliciting for funds from well meaning Nigerians to help the hospital with consumables and other medical necessities to fight the virus.
“The Federal Government must act very fast before things snowball out of control,” NUJ warned.
COVID-19: ‘Stop all physical interviews’, Oyo NUJ warns members
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo state council on Sunday warned members to stop all physical interviews to prevent being infected by corona virus (COVID-19).
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Mr Sola Oladapo, and made available to newsmen in Ibadan.
The union also warned members to be cautious in performing their roles as essential service providers, saying the extent at which the virus was spreading is very alarming.
“Truly, our services are very essential at this period when the world is ravaged by Corona Virus (COVID-19). The public look on to us for information on this global pandemics.
“Our job leaves us more exposed to the ravaging virus. The rate at which this virus is spreading has become very alarming and it is no respecta of anyone.
“As journalists, we must be very careful of how we carry out our duties without being infected,” it said.
The Union, however lauded members for their services at this trying period, praying that God would continue to protect them from all forms of infections.
Photos: Oyo COVID-19 squad impounds 22 vehicles at club houses
Oyo State COVID-19 Security and Enforcement sub-committee has impounded a total of Twenty-Two (22) illegally parked vehicles during its special night operations, to enforce compliance at club houses and public places in Ibadan.
Addressing the team of officers before the operation, the Chairman, OYRTMA, Mogaji Akin Fagbemi, who distributed protective tools to the officers such as hand gloves, portable sanitizers, nose masks and thermometers charged them to be professional in the exercise and respect fundamental human rights in the course of the operation.
He said, “The Oyo State COVID-19 Security and Enforcement subcommittee is made up of Oyo State Road Transport Management Agency and other security agencies and we have begun a special night monitoring and enforcement of Oyo State Government’s directive aimed at curbing the spread of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) among residents of the State, particularly through transport operators, night clubs and other public places”.
It would be recalled that Oyo State has recorded more confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 which led to a directive of a dusk to dawn curfew (7pm to 6am) and suspension of interstate transportation into and out of the State with effect from Sunday night ,March 29th, 2020 by Governor Seyi Makinde.
Governor Seyi Makinde also gave a directive that no public place or gathering should harbour above 10 persons at a time.
Dispersing cluster of persons that formed crowd of more than 10 at club houses, the Special anti-COVID-19 squad gave sufficient information on the need for residents to comply with the State Government’s directives on social distancing, regular washing of hands and other guidelines.
Club houses the enforcement team visited included Platinum, Awolowo Road; Hexagon, Samonda; Pleasure Summit, GRA; Cimola Hotel, Mokola; Latitude, Samonda; Mauve 21, Ring Road; Ventura, Sango and Shanty’s club among others across the State.
Likewise, the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA) has deployed over 200 men and officers to join the COVID-19 Taskforce Health Advisory Sub-committee to embark on public enlightenment at markets and public places within Ibadan for a campaign tagged: ‘break in the chain of transmission campaign on COVID-19’.
Residents who claimed ignorance of the anti-coronavirus guidelines issued by the State Government, however pledged to become vanguards and ambassadors against the spread of the deadly virus.
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