Abia State Government in a bid to end touting in the State has approved the setting up of a Unified Taskforce to handle all sorts of enforcements for the State Government and Local Government.

The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu disclosed this while briefing journalists in Government House Umuahia on the outcome of this week’s Executive Council meeting chaired by Governor Alex Otti. He said the Unified Taskforce would handle all issues of enforcement of government policies and initiatives across the State.

The Commissioner further disclosed that the State Government is set to hold a retreat for the members of the Taskforce ahead of their formal inauguration by the State government. He said the members of the Unified Taskorce would be drawn from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the metropolis.

He said that with the coming on board of the taskforce, touting and unnecessary harassment of citizens would become a thing of the past in the State, adding that the taskforce will have coordinators with responsibilities.

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“There will be a retreat later in the week for the take off of the unified taskforce being sponsored by the state government. That is the one – stop – taskforce that will handle all issues of enforcement and government initiatives across the state.

Once they are in place, every issue about touting and unnecessary harassment of Abia citizens and residents would cease.”

Contributing, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma said that the Unified Taskforce is divided into 6 zones with Umuahia having 2 and Aba 4 zones, adding that the taskforce has coordinators with the responsibilities of ensuring that the activities of the taskforce are in tandem with the mandate given it.

Mr Ekeoma noted that the retreat would take place in Aba on Wednesday this week and would arm participants on the necessary guidelines to operate professionally.

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“The essence of what government is doing as far as this one is concerned is to bring to an end, anything that has to do with touting, illegal taskforce and all the rest of them . We were used to having individuals harassing people, intimidating them , extorting them in the name of taskforce.

So, we want to move away from that old order and that is why, this one is well organized, the members will be known, they are all going to be remunerated. It is not the one where people will just do all kinds of things to make money and put in their pockets in the name of collecting revenue for government . They are going to operate in a most responsible manner.” Ekeoma said.

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