Determined to ensure that Rivers State, the hub of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is safe for productive economic activities for the empowerment of its people, Governor Nyesom Wike has declared war on street trading, illegal motor parks, taxi ranks, and mechanic workplaces.
He has constituted a task force to tackle the menace in the state.
Before now, Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, has been claiming that the Buhari administration could not extend the railway to Rivers due to alleged insecurity.
Amaechi who dominated the affairs of the state from 2007-2015 as governor claimed on national television that he did not bring the railway to Rivers because of insecurity. Regardless of the persisting security challenges in Kaduna and Daura, Katsina State, he took the railway there.
Undisturbed, Wike has always been boasting that at the inception of his administration in 2015, he met an Internally Generated Revenue of N4.5 billion which he has grown to N8-9 billion.
Shaming detractors of his economic plans, he often argues that if the state was not safe, ‘’our internally generated revenue will not be on the increase’’, adding, ‘’we have not benefited anything from the Federal Government since 2015. They are refunding money for federal projects, but they delisted Rivers.’’
According to him, ‘’we are going out to sensitise the people to make sure that they are aware of our presence and that we have commenced operation. For some time now, there was no taskforce working. We are now going out to alert the public that we have commenced operation. Anybody caught wanting will be prosecuted.”
While Nwadibeyi discloses that no member of the default taskforce on street trading and illegal motor is part of the reconstituted team which he now coordinates, he assures the public of the civility of new taskforce.
He, has however, warned that anyone who willfully flouts government ban on street trading, illegal motor parks, taxi ranks and mechanic workplaces, will be arrested and prosecuted.
Collaboarating, the police officer in charge of the taskforce, Okuto Christopher, a DSP explains that the presence of security personnel attached to the task force is to make sure there is no breakdown of law and order.
“If there is any defaulter or offender, ours is to arrest and take them to the nearest (police) division and they, (defaulters) will be charged to court.”