- The road traffic agency in Zamfara state will no longer be allowed to operate by the state government
- The governor of the state, Bello Matawalle has put a stop to the activities of the agency after several complaints
- The agency was set up by Matawalle’s predecessor, Abdulaziz Yari, but resident say they have become a thorn in the flesh of road users
Gusau – Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle on Thursday, June 17 approved the suspension of the Zamfara Road Traffic Agency (ZAROTA) after excessive public complaints against the activities of the agency’s personnel.
According to the governor, ZAROTA’s activities will henceforth be overseen by a joint task force of police, vehicle inspection office, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
A move away from the past
Daily Trust newspaper reports that the governor’s decision was announced by Yakubu Haidara, permanent secretary of cabinet affairs.
“His Excellency has further directed for setting up of a committee to review the conduct of the officials of the organisation.”
The agency was established by former Governor Abdulaziz Yari to provide traffic control and enforce regulations governing road travels in the state.
However, in recent time, complaints have mounted on how the officials of the agency were abusing their powers
How protests in state capital triggered suspension of agency
Meanwhile, The Punch newspaper reports that over 200 commercial drivers blocked the Gusau-Zaria road in the early hours of the same day protesting against what they called ‘illegal extortion’ by officials of the traffic agency.
According to the report, the protest, which began around 7 am and lasted for about two hours, brought socio-economic activities to a halt.
Speaking to journalists during the protest, the chairman, Zamfara State Truck Drivers Association, Alhaji Lawali Danda said:
“Besides enforcing heavy tax on our members, ZAROTA officials also subjected them to a series of maltreatment and dehumanisation.
“ZAROTA collects up to N50,000 from a driver and that alone discouraged many truck drivers from coming to the state.”
Recall that the FRSC recently mandated the use of the National Identification Number (NIN) for the processing of a driver’s license.
The agency made the announcement in a statement posted on its social media pages and signed by an Assistant Corps Marshal, Bisi Kazeem.
Stressing that there would be no waiver for anyone, Kazeem emphasised the need for a harmonised database of all citizens and described it as critical to resolving security challenges in the country.
He urged the public, especially those going for their driver’s licence processing, to heed the directives and follow the procedures for getting their NIN from the National Identity Management Commission.
Meanwhile, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the destruction of public infrastructure in Nigeria is a form of terrorism.
The minister said those sabotaging government facilities will pay dearly for it after they are charged to court.