By Onome Oghenetega
The Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa on Thursday, says his administration is not contemplating any ban on the use of commercial tricycle also popularly known as ‘Keke Napep’ in major towns particularly the state capital, Asaba.
Okowa, refuting reports that he had concluded plans to phase out the use of ‘Keke’ in urban cities in the state, noted that such social media reports lack any iota of truth and urged Deltans to discountenance it.
The governor answering questions from newsmen during an “appreciation meeting” with Journalists under the umbrella body of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday said there was no reason for his administration to ban ‘Keke Napep.’
He explained that, banning the use Keke would negatively affect transportation in the state as such situation would further lead hike in the current transportation fare in the state.
Okowa stated further that such decision will equally thrown commercial tricycle riders into the joblessness which could snowball into insecurity in the state.
“A lot of people ascribe comments to the governor (Okowa) on the social media. Wherever, you heard that from is not true. I’m not contemplating banning Keke in any part of Delta State. Such thought has never crossed my mind.
“In a matter of fact, I have not discussed ban on Keke with anybody or say it in anywhere. If I ban Keke what will Deltans use? Keke is still the cheapest form of transport. Buses are very expensive at the moment, so, the report is not true. No one should mislead our people for their mischievous benefit”, the governor added.
Governor Okowa also expressed concern over the increasing population in the country, adding that Nigeria is ‘sitting on a keg powder.’
He noted that a nation whose population growth is not commensurate with its economy is ‘sitting on a keg of gun powder’ and that the situation needs to be urgently addressed.
Okowa said, “It’s not easy to govern a state like Delta with issues of insecurity, minimum wage and others. We have a huge challenge in our hands with the fast-growing population and slow growth in the economy.
“The situation is that Nigeria’s population is increasing while the economy of the nation is also decreasing. Our population is increasing at a very fast rate while economic is growing at a very low rate.
“It is a big problem for the nation because if nothing is done, there would be a crisis. We must first start with planning for the population. The increasing population is negatively affecting our development and security.”