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Friday, 28 March 2014

Abuja Park-and-Pay Policy A Fraud – Reps

Federal lawmakers yesterday stated that the ‘park-and-pay’ policy in Abuja metropolis “has since metamorphosed into an avenue for exploitation, fraud and other forms of sharp practices”.
This was a fallout of a motion sponsored by Hon. Bitrus Kaze to investigate the concession of the “Park-And-Pay Policy” introduced in 2012.
To this end, the House of Representatives detailed its Committee on FCT to conduct a public hearing to investigate the processes leading to the concession, award and operation of the scheme and make recommendations to the House within three weeks.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that in early 2012, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) introduced a ‘park-and-pay’ policy which requires the motoring public in Abuja metropolis to pay fees ranging from N50 too N100 to park their vehicles on designated streets for periods ranging from 30 minutes upwards between the hours of 7am and 6pm.
Kaze, in his lead debate, noted that the implementation of the policy was contracted out to privately-owned companies, such as Integrated Parking Systems Ltd and Automaten Technik Haumann Nigeria Ltd, which have no previous experience in electronic ticketing and parking system.
He informed lawmakers of allegations that although the companies do not maintain any infrastructure or provide professional services, they remit only between 10 per cent and 40 per cent of generated revenues and keep the rest (between 90 and 60 percent).
“The policy is being carried out without a clearly defined law to regulate the concession, management and operation of the electronic ticketing and parking regime, qualification of prospective bidders, the designated areas as well as specific times for ticketing, the percentage of funds to be remitted too government and penalties for defaulters,” he said.
The Plateau lawmaker decried the “harassment” and “unruly” conduct of agents of the companies.
“They (agents) prefer to indiscriminately clamp and tow cars which have to be reclaimed from their premises with huge sums of money ranging from N5,000 to N20,000, thereby subjecting many motorists to harrowing experiences often resulting in physical combat and assault contrary to the norms of decency and respect for fundamental human rights and dignity of persons.
He said the FCT minister, Sen Bala Mohammad, based on “ceaseless petitions” against agents of the companies pledged to review the policy, but the review has not been made till date.

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