One year anniversary: Ondo gets 7-passenger-tricycle

By Mary Agidi

In furtherance of its Rural Development initiative, the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, will inaugurate a rural accessibility and empowerment scheme as part of activities to mark the One-Year in office of the current administration in the state.

Addressing Government House Reporters in Akure, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, Mr. Tobi Ogunleye said Governor Akeredolu was resolutely committed to opening-up the state towards accelerating its development across sectors and more importantly to stem rural-urban drift in the state.

According to the Special Adviser, a Seven-Passenger Tricycle, named Rural Aketi , has been adopted as a means of fast-tracking the rural accessibility initiative of the State Government.

A 7 passenger tricycle to be called “Rural Aketi” because of its purpose to empower the people at the rural areas as part of the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Rural Empowerment Initiatives”

“Over 60% of the population of this state are agrarian, they are farmers and in this kind of farming that’s well known to us in this area, farmers always experience a time of surplus, with no means of conservation. Most of these products are being destroyed due to lack of access to the urban areas.

” Because anything that belongs to government is no man’s property, the governor has warned that people should not see it as dividends of democracy but rather as an avenue to empower our people in the rural settings, in order to boost agricultural development because it’s the mainstay of our people in Ondo State.

“What is the essence of the surplus when it cannot reach the final consumers. It has been the major concern of the governor to either prevent or reduce the usual rural-urban migration”, he said.

Mr Ogunleye said the Tricycle, a product of Chinese technology has been proven to a better means of transporting farm produce by farmers from rural areas to cities as a result of its fuel economy and adaptation to the use of either diesel or petrol.

While saying that the tricycle would be mainly used in the state for commercial and haulage services on restricted routes designated as RURAL , the Special Adviser was quick to say that its operators would not be allowed to operate in any route that could jeopardize the operations of the existing commercial motor vehicle operators in the state but that willing commercial Motorcycle Operators might embrace the tricycle which he said has airconditioner, fan and better ventilation. Speaking on the Purchase Plan of Rural Aketi Tricycle which Mr Ogunleye described as pocket friendly through by Quasi Hire Purchase that would enable prospective owners pay only 25% of its cost of One Million Naira while the partnering bank would pay additional 25% and the balance spread across twenty months but with a comprehensive insurance of 5% payable within three months of purchase.

On the multiplier effects of introducing Rural Aketi Tricycle into the state Transport Sector, the Special Adviser said Ondo Government is the second franchise owner of the Chinese Yutli Tricyle in Nigeria and the only place in the country where its Assembly Plant would be cited. He added that the scheme would also scale up security consciousness among the citizenry, provide jobs for local engineers who would be trained in servicing, repairing and maintenance at Service Centres to be established across the state.

Mr Ogunleye said the scheme has been holistically designed to impact rural areas in Ondo State which have begun to feel a new lease of life where at least three kilometers of roads per ward have been graded for easy mobility of agricultural produce to the city centers in the state.