Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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Transport:Putting Order in the House 

By Martin A. Nkemngu

 Last week the Minister of Transport, Bello Bouba Maigari, published a long list of vehicles carrying irregular registration numbers. For the Centre Region, alone, nearly 800 vehicles were impounded.

The Minister also released a list of inter-urban transport buses sanctioned for being in irregular situations. Some of the buses were impounded for overloading, poor technical states or drivers, driving under the influence of alcohol. The sanctions include suspension of commercial licence for one month, with a warning of being put out of business, should they be found repeatedly in wrong doing.

It is the first time that the Ministry of Transport has taken such drastic action to put order in a sector that has been notorious for laxity and indifference, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives every year on our roads.

Reckless driving, poor state of vehicles, corruption and inertia, are some of the factors which have been responsible for accidents on our roads. In the same vein, many stolen vehicles have not been traced, either because of the absence of strict control or corruption of officials charged with checking. And the minister’s action has begun yielding fruits.

It is reported that the wife of the governor of the East region has been caught with a stolen luxurious car. That may be just the tip of the iceberg. It is certain that many more cases would be discovered.

The nationwide control has found irregular registration of vehicles in all the 10 regions of the country. The owners have been invited to report to the various regional delegations of transport for control. If the car owners fail o show up, the matter will be handed over to the police for further investigation and follow up.

According to Zacharie Ngoumbe, Sub Director in charge of Road Safety in the Ministry of Transport; the control will enable the ministry to uncover vehicles registered under illegal circumstances.

He said: “An evaluation of the names published in the newspapers shall be done and those who have not reacted, shall have to be traced and caught by the police.”
It has also been discovered that there exists a parallel fake network for obtaining CEMAC vehicle registration numbers. The present campaign may help to uncover the fraudulent network.

The public has welcomed the campaign with cautious satisfaction. The doubts in people’s minds are about its sustainability. But the assurance is given by Ngoumbe, when he says: “We are going to carry out the operation for as long as we see and notice cars with fake numbers … we are still going to keep on fighting until we clear it out.”

Public expectations are high, although some think that the minister’s campaign is belated. True as that may be, it is also to remember that it is better to be late than never.

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