By Sam Kayode
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has directed the purchase of 500 Keke NAPEP for the benefit of 2000 riders in the state.
After hosting operators of ‘Keke NAPEP’ on Saturday, he directed the procurement of the 500 tricycles and 100 Toyota cars (Corolla LE) for subsidized allocations at just 50 percent of the original price to the union.
Governor Zulum explained that about 2000 Keke NAPEP operators, who currently do not have their own tricycles, will benefit from the intervention in which, four operators will be allocated one tricycle as partnership business, ensuring that 2000 operators will own the 500 tricycles.
Zulum maintained that another 200 persons will jointly own 100 Toyota cars which would ultimately be used to revive the comatose taxi business in Maiduguri.
“As subsidy, all 2,200 beneficiaries will be required to repay only 50% of the market value of the tricycles and cars which they will generate
from their daily takings while Government will waive the remaining 50%” Zulum announced.
The Governor directed the state’s ministry of transportation to liaise with various unions of the tricycle operators to agree on suitable and acceptable modalities for the allocation.
To stem Mal practice, Zulum however, warned that, only deserving members who do not have their tricycle should be considered for the subsidy.
The Governor recalled that while government had banned the importation of tricycles into Maiduguri to curtail case of crimes committed in support of insurgency and to address congestions along the city routes, this intervention is based purely on needs.
He further said that, all measures being taken were in the best interest of the Keke NAPEP riders while acknowledging the huge employment opportunities it has provided.
One of the union leaders of the operators, Alhaji Hurso Grema, expressed appreciation to Governor Zulum for the intervention and for some regulatory measures introduced by the Government which he said, had saved their occupation from incursions by bad elements who hitherto tried using tricycles for criminal acts.
Zulum had in 2020, allocated similar number of tricycles and cars to operators in Biu town for commercial purposes.