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Keke may be phased out in Owerri

There are strong indications that Imo State government may soon  phase out commercial tricycle operations in the State, capital, Owerri.
The operators were said to have been hinted of such plans in a meeting recently with officials of the Okorocha administration.
The operators constituted 80 % of the support base of  Gov. Okorocha in the 2011 and re- election in 2015.
A source who spoke to INNONEWS.COM said the plan to phase out tricycle operators popularly known as keke was based on the need and desire of the State governor, Rochas Okorocha to transform Owerri to a modern city.
As a substitute, the source said, the government has purchased several motor cabs for sale to the keke operators.
At the said meeting, the operators were said to have been informed to seek for alternative routes of carrying out their businesses.
It was gathered that, as a replacement, the registered Keke operators will be given the cabs for a fee ranging from N400,000 cash per unit and N1.2 million naria for hire purchase, a development which appears not to have gone down well with some operators.
Keke has been the major means of transportation in Owerri. It was introduced by the Ikedi Ohakim administration after phasing out the use of motorcycles as means of transportation within the city.
The operators were re-branded and named Imo Pilots by the present administration to enhance efficiency and control.
No state government official agreed to confirm such plans.  But several motor cabs purchased by the government have been sited at Naze, a small village close to Owerri and Heroes Square, New Owerri.

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