As the 2015 gubernatorial race gathers momentum, the immediate past Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Nsima Ekere, has received the crucial backing of the Akwa Progressive Commercial Tricyclists, Taxi and Motorcyclists Association (APCOTMA), the umbrella union of tricycle and motorcycle operators in the state.
The endorsement came on Thursday when Mr. Ekere consulted the state executive council members and chapter chairmen of the association as well as their wives at their secretariat in Uyo.
Addressing them, the former Deputy Governor, who was visibly overwhelmed by the show of support, promised to institute a N2 Billion revolving loan for members of the association within six months of his assumption of office as Governor.
He explained that the loan would assist those tricycle operators that intend to graduate to taxi operators and those willing to go into other businesses, adding that the whole idea was to sustainably empower them in line with his people’s development agenda.
Mr. Ekere disclosed that his government would flood Uyo, the state capital, with taxi cabs but assured that all registered tricycle operators would benefit from his taxi scheme gradually.
He said he decided to consult and partner with APCOTMA given the strategic role of tricycle operators in the economy of the state, particularly the fact that they controlled the transportation system.
Mr. Ekere recalled the ban placed on motorcycles in the state capital, three years ago, by the State Government, pointing out that it was successful because of the maturity of APCOTMA leadership.
The former Deputy Governor emphasized that the major priority of his administration would be the industrialization of the state to build on the infrastructural base already put in place by the Akpabio