Managing Director of the Kano Road and Traffic Agency (KAROTA), Hon. Baffa Babba Dan Agundi (left) and the Kano state Police Commissioner recently
Newly appointed Managing Director of the Kano Road and Traffic Agency (KAROTA), Hon. Baffa Babba Dan Agundi is confident that the agency will surmount the challenges associated with the chaotic Kano city traffic as well as discharge its mandate to the satisfaction of the Governor and resident of the state.
The former top civil servant, local government boss and majority leader of the Kano state House of Assembly had a chat with Frank Kintum in his office recently
Why do you think the governor appointed you to manage KAROTA?
He has confidence in me and am sure the people have confidence in me that I can deliver. It is all about capacity, I think I have the capacity to run this organization and people do believe I have. I will do my best and am praying to God to help me deliver.
My vision is to sanitise Kano state roads and to make sure rules and regulations are followed, make Kano state clean, make everybody obey the rules, carry all stakeholders along. Making all necessary peace moves to make sure all illegal motor parks are closed.
My vision is to bring back the integrity of this organization that is lost, and to make sure the assignment given to me by His Excellency is fulfilled, that I do not disappoint him, I do not disappoint the people of Kano.
Everywhere you go, you see illegal motor parks, traders hawking, trading on the street. Some KAROTA staff conniving with people to take bribes. We want to reorganize the entire system.
There is possibility that they will be banned, and there is also possibility that they may be allowed to continue if the security council of the state headed by his Excellency the Governor of Kano state decides, we will implement it. If the government allows for reformation, still okay. The reason of the possibility of banning them is because of the excesses of their illegal activities, kidnapping, robbery, bag snatching, phone snatching. No responsible government will sit down and watch this happen.
Will it not affect the huge investments in tricycles?
In every advantage, there is disadvantage, a lot of people feed through that, even though the government does not get any revenue from them. I know there will be repercussions if you ban them, but the enormous security challenge, is something that you cannot just close your eyes and say it should continue like that.
Over one million tricycles on Kano Roads?
Yes, over one million tricycles
On penalties for erring motorists
We have a court where we can charge you if you commit offence, including impoundment of the vehicles. When people complain that they are asked to pay fine, I tell them that for them to be asked to pay fine is like a favour, because they can go to jail and the vehicle impounded depending on the magnanimity of the offence.
We have a very good start with stakeholders. The boss of FRSC came here and asked for collaboration which we will do, he has even offered to train our men, which is very good. I visited the Police, SSS, Army and requested for their collaboration. There used to be some problems here and there before, but with my taking over, am sure there will be a cordial relationship. We have about 2,400 staff, and we still have approval to employ more. The strength will now be about 3000 men if we employ additional 600. Staff allowances have been increased. I am processing hazard allowance. We take care of any staff with their family, in case they are hit on the road while on operations. We are acquiring new operational vehicles and repairing the ones we met on ground.
The people that run the organization when it was first established, they did very well, but later the organization turned to something else , I want to leave KAROTA as a very clean responsible organsation, highly disciplined organisation, I want to be remembered for that.