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Jos NTA Park Chairman seeks Plateau government’s consideration over rumoured plans to shut it down

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Chairman of NTA Park in Jos Plateau State Ibrahim Maikudi, has appealed to the Plateau State government to reconsider any moves aimed at closing down the park, saying that the park has been very useful and has contributed to the economic prosperity of state since its 20 years of operation.

Addressing newsmen in Jos the Plateau State capital yesterday on the information they heard on radio about the likelihood to close down the park, the Chairman said they are a formidable private park and not a roadside park.

The Chairman said they pay tax to the government as well as other necessary levies, and that they have helped in checking insecurity in the state by arresting criminals, kidnappers and bandits alike with arms and ambition and other dangerous weapons.

He said they have been supporting the government in its developmental efforts of the state, and are willing to do more, especially in the transportation sector which is key in the development of any state or the nation at large.

Also, he said the park is centralized and it’s a neutral park for both Christians and Muslims who are comfortable with it to transport from the state to other states and vice versa, unlike that of Bauchi park where Christians cannot comfortably go to, or any park in Jos South or in areas Muslims cannot go to.

In his words ” On the 13th of May (last month) some persons told us that they heard on radio that Jos South local government is planning to relocate roadside motor parks, and I said no problem, as we are a lawful private motor park and not a roadside motor park.’

“However I reached out personally to the local government chairman to get more details and to find out what is actually happening, and the chairman asked me if I got any relocation letter. I told him I didn’t get anything of such and he said that there is therefore no cause for me to worry. We even wrote to the local government and yet we didn’t get any reply. But we kept hearing rumours of plans to either relocate us or close us down outright.

“This is a privately-owned motor park which we opened about 20 years ago and we have the permit and all the criteria to become a motor park. We are one of the best motor parks on the Plateau and we even have effective technology to detect criminals as well as CCTV cameras.

“For instance, we were the people that arrested the young man from Zamfara with arms and amunitions last week and handed him over to the Police.

We have been arresting other criminals over the years, including drug peddlers who we do hand over to NDLEA or child traffickers whom we hand over to Civil Defence. So we have been helping the government to check insecurity, because we in the transport sector are the worst hit if there is insecurity.

“So, we believe that government owned parks can work hand-in-hand with the privately owned parks. For instance there are government hospitals and private hospitals, and also government schools and private schools. So government cannot just close the private enterprise down except if found wanting in one way or the others.

“Government facilities alone cannot accommodate the needs of the people in the society, and the privated bodies are well needed to boost the economy. In America, for instance, most enterprise are privately owned, and government only regulates them.

“Besides, one of the advantages of this park is that it is centrally located and serves as a neutral ground for everyone, considering the ethno-religious crisis which rocked the state and some persons are afraid to go to some areas.

“Also, our prices are affordable, and we ply many routes across the country. In one of the parks, from Jos to Abuja is N9,000, while in another park it is N15,000. But we are still carrying for N6,000.

We are arguably the only park which did not exorbitantly increase its transport fare in the face of the fuel subsidy removal, and we have been helping the masses to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal,” he said.

Maikudi further said that they are always open to working with the government in moving the state forward, as well as deepening their corporate social responsibility and providing any infrastructure within their ability, including opening opening up some routes connecting the park and repairing some of the linkage roads.

He said over one thousand (1,000) drivers are benefitting from the park, businesses have sprung up in and around the park and has created lots of employment opportunities for people, while the total investment sum in the park is over N500 million.

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