Vice President Namadi Sambo on Monday inaugurated the Abuja Taxi Scheme and the Abuja Women and Youth Employment programme with a pledge that Federal Government would create 500,000 jobs for women and youths annually.
Inaugurating the Taxi Scheme in Abuja, Sambo expressed hope that the Scheme would provide an effective and efficient transport system in the Capital city and its environs.
He also opined that it would also go a long way in the quest to provide a safe and affordable transport system, create employment and ease human and vehicular movement.
“Transportation is to a city what blood is to the body. Therefore, a city can only be as active as its urban transportation system. Abuja carries the banner of our national ideals, and, therefore, the city must live up to its excellent reputation as a safe haven.
“This laudable initiative will, no doubt, enhance the effectiveness of our security system by nipping crime in the bud. It will also add to its aesthetic beauty and reduce both road accidents and environmental hazards,” he said.
The Vice President said government was developing both the intra and inter-transport networks to connect Abuja City centre to the rest of the country, using all the means of transportation available.
His words, “We have commenced the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna segment of the central corridor (Kaduna-Warri) standard gauge rail lines, which will link the capital city to other cities, satellite towns and villages therefore easing the problems of accommodation and transportation. On completion, people can leave outside Abuja and comfortably come to work daily,” he said.
Speaking on the efforts by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration at repositioning all aspects of the transportation sector, he said, Government had developed a road-map that would address the challenges facing the sector, which envisages a huge financial investment worth billions of naira in partnership with the private sector.
On the Abuja Community Service Women and Youth Programme, VP Sambo said the programme was part of government’s innovative schemes meant to create employment and economic empowerment for women and youth in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and beyond.
According to him, under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) the Federal Government targets 500,000 women and youth employment annually. He noted with delight that the Youth enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN) had been “quite successful” in supporting young entrepreneurs to create jobs through a competitive business plan programme.
He therefore, commended the FCT administration’s commitment to the realization of the Federal Government transformation agenda, saying “The Abuja Taxi Scheme and the Abuja Community Service Women and Youth Employment programme are indeed tied to welfare of our citizens and enjoy our admiration and support.” He, therefore, lauded the FCT administration’s foresight in evolving ways aimed at generating employment and creating wealth.
In his remarks, the Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed, stated that the Taxi scheme, which would kick-off with an initial fleet of 160 “brand new taxis”, would be managed by the Abuja Investment Company Limited.
According to him, the scheme is to evolve into a self-sustaining semi commercial transport venture that will provide residents of the FCT with a modern, secure and reliable taxi service. He said each of the vehicles was procured at the cost of N2.6 million, while the FCT administration would offer prize subsidy to the beneficiaries.