Abia Govt. To Roll Out CNG-Powered Buses

By Johnson Nwankwo

The Abia State government says it plans to secure Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered buses to improve the transport system in the state.

The state commissioner for information and culture, Mr Okey Kanu, made this known on Monday during a press conference on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House, Umuahia.

Kanu said that the initiative became necessary to fill up the gap that would be created by the government’s new policy restricting the operational hours of tricycles and motorcycles in Umuahia and Aba.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the government had announced that tricycle and motorcycle operators in Umuahia and Aba will be restricted to operate between 6am – 7pm everyday from July 1.

The commissioner said that the government had moved the commencement date for the enforcement of the restriction policy for the operational hours of tricycles and motorcycles to Aug. 1.

Kanu said that the government decided to extend the enforcement of the policy by one month to sustain the gains made with regards to extending business hours in the state, particularly in Aba and Umuahia.

He also said that the extension was done in response to the pleas and yearnings of the people of Abia received through various feedback channels.

“As part of the initiatives and incentives to drive this new policy, Abia Government plans to introduce CNG-powered buses to close up whatever gaps that will be created by the full implementation of this restriction policy,” Kanu said.

He said that tricycle and motorcycle operators interested in the CNG-powered buses could have access to it by forming a cooperative and working in clusters.

“The bottom line will be to access these buses so that there will be no gaps in terms of people missing out on earning income,” he said.

Kanu described the introduction of the CNG-powered buses as a measure that would ensure that commuters move around the state, particularly Aba and Umuahia, when these restriction orders commenced.

According to him, other arrangements, such as enumeration and registration of all commercial vehicles with regards to the restriction policy has commenced as planned.

He said that these were preparatory steps to the official take-off of the restriction policy.

On the upload of credentials by Abia civil servants, Kanu said that the exercise had “progressed well”.

He said: “As at date, a total of 36,875 academic certificates and a total of 25,458 career documents have been uploaded, while a total of 7,582 certificates were moved to various institutions for verification.”

Kanu commended the civil servants who had obeyed the directive on uploading credentials for verification and urged civil servants who were yet to do theirs, to upload their credentials “in their best interest”.

On roads, Kanu said that road construction and rehabilitation efforts were still progressing in the state, despite the challenges posed by the rains.

“The design of the stretch of road from Onuimo to Abia Tower is in progress, enumeration of structures within the right of way from the Owerrinta Bridge to Umuikaa Junction is ongoing,” he said. (NAN)

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