…says AMDON critical to Oyo economy
By Ogundele Olanrewaju
Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, urged the Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria, AMDON, Oyo State Chapter, to assist the current government in the area of traffic control within the metropolis of the state.
Governor Makinde, who was represented by the Chairman of the Oyo State Road and Traffic Maintenance Agency, Dr. Akin Fagbemi, made the appeal during the one-day enlightenment programme organised by the Economic and Finance and Crimes Commission EFCC.
He said: “There is an initiative we just introduced, which is Community Traffic Management System. The population in the state is increasing and I want to partner with you. So, please, if there is any area that you know where they sell cars and there is heavy traffic, two or three of you can also be part of the traffic control in such place. Do this to assist the government.
“We want you to partner with us because I believe government should be a partnership business. When you do it, you are doing it for yourselves too. Yes, when there is economic boom, there is always traffic but it is not worst here. And I can tell you that the traffic is for good. Wherever you see traffic, you should know that there is economic progress.
“By the time you partner with us, we will give you our reflective jackets because we are partners in progress.”
Fagbemi, who noted that the governor has been very magnanimous to the sector, a development which has resulted to boom in their businesses, urged them to partner with the state government in reducing traffic congestion.
According to Him: “The governor has employed more workers who are now buying cars from motor dealers. And this means if the governor is not employing, you might probably not have those that will come and patronise you from the public sector of the state. I have seen a lot of workers who now have the financial capability.
“One thing is sure and you know that the governor has been in full support of the motor dealers in the state. Again, there is a bubble I don’t want to burst yet. There was a time your excos came to me, being in charge of enforcement. When we met and they told me about their plans, I asked them to go ahead because the governor is a governor of the people and that of the motor dealers.
“What I am trying to say in essence is, the governor has been very magnanimous to the motor dealers in Oyo State. So, the governor did something worthwhile that, if quantified in naira, is more than 1billion Naira. He is supporting your business. He is in charge and knows what you are doing.
“You are doing very well and you are a sector we cannot overlook. Your association is critical to the economy of the nation. Oyo State is a commercial link and because of that, people travelling to different states but passing through this state patronise you where you are located.”
Fagbemi, who also bemoaned the recalcitrant attitude of some dealers who sell cars by the side of the road, engage in importation of right-hand vehicles, non-use of seat belts and driver’s license, tasked them to stop causing obstruction and desist from other acts that could undermine the traffic laws.
“I must also address the issue of point-of-sale. The law empowers OYTMA to remove any obstruction on and beside the road. You do believe when you park cars close to the road is when you will sale them. No. You must, at this point, know that the road is not meant for car sale. So, I want to urge us to stop such act and consider others because it is not also safe for you. Yes, we are friends but we must do what is right at all times. Our work is to ensure there is safety on our roads. I want you to know that this is your state and we will continue to do whatever that will help your business. Do your own part and government will do its part.
“Those of you importing right-hand vehicle should be careful of your dealings. You have to convert it immediately and stop driving such vehicles around the state because they cause accident sometimes in the process of overtaking. It is really against the traffic law and such act is dangerous to the road users.
“I have also observed that majority of you don’t use seat belts and drivers license and don’t even renew your papers as and when due. Please, desist from such because you have to be up to the task. When you move around, move well,” Fagbemi stated.
Speaking earlier, the zonal coordinator of Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Mrs Toyin Ehindero Benson Econo, warned all motor dealers to ensure full compliance to the Commission on money laundering activities in the state or face the wrath of the law.
Benson noted that the Commission expects all dealers to report any transaction of N5m Naira from a private individual and transaction of N10m by Corporate body to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering within seven days.
She further hinted that the commission is ready to train a Chief Complaint Officer that will serve as a liaison officer between the commission and dealers organization on all the sections of money laundering.
She said: “I represent the unit controlling all the activities of money laundering in Nigeria. At this point, I will only want to advise the motor dealers association to make sure they give me a hundred per cent compliance in Ibadan because we will not take it lightly with them if they fail.
“Truth is, we don’t want those who are not fit for the job and want to be operating illegally to take over the business of motor dealing and we want to stop that. We want to fight money laundering activities.
“They have to comply with the Money Laundering Act and make sure they send all reports to us. Once there is any transaction of N5m Naira from an individual, you have to report to SCUML. And once you have N10m transaction from a corporate body, we also expect a report from you within seven days.
“Also, you have to introduce the Chief Compliant Officer to serve as a liaison person between the Commission and the dealer organisation. We will train the officer on updates on all the sections of money laundering.
“For now, we are enlightening and sensitising you and we don’t want to involve punishment or penalty. We are giving you a friendly talk now. We have to wait first to see your compliance level before we can start to enforce the law.”
The state chairman of the Association, Mr Apostle Taiwo Adewole, assured that whatever policies from the government that will move their business forward will be complied with henceforth.