By Igbaugba Ehigimetor
Benin – The Edo State Traffic Control and Management Agency (EDSTMA) says it will soon commence the re-organisation of the operations of Taxis in the state, in order to stem cases of criminality.
The Managing Director of the agency, Mr Dennis Oloriegbe, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting with Taxi operators in Benin on Thursday.
He said that as part of the re-organisation, the agency would carry out a re-certification and registration of the activities of Taxi operators across the state.
Oloriegbe, who bemoaned the absence of a Taxi structure in the state, regreted that the operation of taxis in Edo had become an all-comers affair.
According to him, “Because it has become a business of everybody who drives a car, many have resorted into using it to commit crime, and when these crimes are committed, the law enforcement agencies find it difficult to bring the perpetrators to book.
“We have had several cases of taxis being used to rob and kidnap because of these shortcomings.
“Most of these perpetrators operate with private vehicles but with the taxi symbol on the dashboards of their vehicles.
“It is as a result that we are embarking on the re-certification and registration exercise, so as to be able to identify the real taxi operators.
“Under this programme, all operators will operate with their vehicles painted with the same colour code, in addition to the vehicles having a number and operational code.
“There is also going to be identification of parks, as well as the biometrics of every operator, while each of them will be provided with identification cards and stickers.
“With all this, it will be easier to arrest or trace any operator, whenever the need arises,’’ he added.
Over 100 taxi operators attended the meeting.