The ban of 'Keke Napep' in Abuja by Haruna Hassan


Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, were on Tuesday thrown into confusion following the sudden ban on commercial Tricycle operators also known as ‘Keke’ by the Federal Government. This came unannounced with no alternative means of transportation provided by the authorities.

In a fragile country like Nigeria, banning  Keke Napep in some parts of Abuja without providing a better alternative would only add to challenges of the lingering insecurity bedeviling the country. 

Before enforcing any law, the government should reflect and think about the repercussions on its people. Thousands of people whose only means of livelihood are from their earning from being commercial keke riders have now became Jobless. Their passengers who include civil servants, business men and women, school children and students are also becoming stranded on the streets, a lot of them are trekking long distances before they find a taxi to their various places of work, businesses and schools.

This is a setback to our present struggle to overcome economic hardship in the country. Human labor will be over stressed. And as we all must know, an over stressed employee does not give efficient service, neither can tired children give their best in the classroom as it concerns learning. Therefore the country will not yield optimum result in the economy. Which is a problem especially for a country with such a high number of its people living below poverty level.

After working hours, many people find it difficult to get back to their various destinations at the right time. It also causes much increase in the money they spend on their transportation. Because the cheapest form of Transportation in the city was banned. Considering the current insecurity issues we face with kidnappings, robberies and bag snatching on the road, stranded people whose finances are stretched thin because of the higher cost of taking taxis rather than tricycles.

The FCT Minister should please think twice on this decision, it will not help our economic growth, rather it will create another set of unemployed Youths in the country. And as the saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. With no other recourse and way to make money to take of themselves and responsibilities to their families in most cases, they will most likely turn to a life of crime.

If the government is not satisfied with the way the drivers conduct their business, they should endeavor to put all hands on deck to sanitize the business in order to meet up with the FCT’s or even International standard. 

It can even start by educating the union on how to get license, through rigorous training,the way our VIO do before issuing license, and strict measure should be taken for non compliance. 

With such measures and more put in place, we will have better keke drivers with a means of supporting themselves and their families and still have our affordable means of moving around.

Mr. Hassan writes from Katsina


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