Over a year after the www.icirnigeria.org published an expose on the new park and pay system for motorists in Abuja, the House of Representatives has passed a resolution mandating its committee on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to conduct public hearing on the sham policy.
In February last year, www.icirnigeria.org conducted an investigation into the illegal and dubious electronic parking policy which generates revenue for the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, by robbing residents.
Now, the House has decided to investigate the process of the award of contracts and operation of the policy in the territory and its FCT committee is expected to furnish it with its recommendations within three weeks.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Bitrus Kaze (PDP-Plateau), which was unanimously adopted when put to vote by the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.
In his motion entitled: “Need to investigate the concession of Park-and-Pay Policy in Abuja Metropolis” Kaze expressed concern over the “harassment and unruly” conduct of agents of the companies in the discharge of their duties.
He said the policy which was introduced in 2012 required motorists to pay fees ranging from N50 and N100 to park their vehicles on designated streets for periods ranging from 30 minutes upwards between 7 a.m. to 7p.m.
He explained that the implementation of the policy was contracted to privately owned companies such as Integrated Parking Systems Limited and Automaten Technik Haumann Limited, whose agents indiscriminately clamped and towed vehicles which could only be reclaimed on the payment of “huge sums” of money.
The lawmaker said the policy had metamorphosed into an avenue of exploitation, fraud and other forms of sharp practice.
He said also that the concession, management and operation of the electronic ticketing and parking regime were being implemented without clear and defined legislation.
Kaze said that the minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed, had pledged to review the policy following the petitions and outcry of Abuja residents and urged the House to intervene in the matter to instil sanity, integrity and accountability in the implementation of the policy.
Our investigation last year revealed that each of the companies operating the park and pay policy generates between N750, 000 and a million naira daily from issuing parking tickets to motorists in the metropolis but remits little to government coffers.
The investigative report titled “How FCT Robs Residents Through Illegal Parking Policy” revealed that only one of the four companies registered for the business has any experience or track record in e-ticketing or electronic parking.
It was also discovered that the FCT administration operated the policy without any legislation backing it up.