A group of suspended, pioneer parking management operators assigned to oversee park-and-pay operations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have expressed their discontent over the commencement of the operation without their involvement.
Integrated Parking Service Ltd and Platinum Management Parking Service, the pioneer management entities, have deemed the government’s snub as unfair and unacceptable.
Representatives of both organisations Iliyasu Abdu and Otunba Segun Olarewaju issued a joint statement in Abuja to present their petition and appeal to The Presidency for intervention to reinstate their participation in the operations.
The group emphasised that both companies had been professionally conducting their operations until the FCT Transport Secretariat introduced two additional companies to the parking operations without proper advertisement or due process. This unilateral decision led to chaos, disorder, and confrontations on the streets of Abuja. The residents even took legal action against one of the new operators, NAJEC, resulting in the suspension of the operation by Justice Peter Affen on April 14, 2014.
The statement articulated, “Today, we, the pioneer parking management operators, entrusted with conducting parking management services, commonly known as Park and Pay, in the Abuja metropolis, express our concern. The initiative for this project was first undertaken by Platinum Parking Management Services (PPMS) in March 2004. It progressed to the tenders’ board in 2008, leading to the inclusion of Integrated Parking Services (IPS). Both operators operated proficiently until the FCT Transport Secretariat introduced two additional companies to join the parking operations. This decision caused disorder, chaos, and confrontations on the streets of Abuja”.
The group elaborated on the legal proceedings, saying, “Residents took one of the new operators, NAJEC, to court and the operation was suspended by Justice Peter Affen on April 14, 2014. Suspension letters were issued to us by the Transport Secretariat. Despite the suspension, the FCT Transport Secretariat re-advertised the parking services and explicitly stated that the old operators need not apply. PPMS and IPS took the matter to court, which eventually led us to the Abuja Multi-Door Court, with PPMS and IPS vs. FCT. We secured a victory in arbitration. The FCT Administration contested the decision, lost at the lower court and, subsequently, approached the Court of Appeal”.
The group expressed their confusion about the FCT Administration’s actions, stating, “The FCT Administration announced that all legal issues pertaining to the on-street parking scheme had been resolved, which is why they intend to initiate the scheme. However, it is worth noting that they have a pending appeal at the Abuja division of the Appeal Court”.
They raised pertinent questions about the fairness of the situation, asking, “Why did the FCT Administration not wait for the new minister before engaging two out of four suspended companies, as ruled by Justice Peter Arfen, especially when they are aware that these two companies initially entered the scene through dubious means? Why are they now entering into agreements to commence the scheme with these companies while excluding IPS Ltd and PPMS Ltd? What reasonable justification can be given for excluding the two pioneering companies, Integrated Parking Services Ltd and Platinum Parking Management Services Ltd, other than the possibility that certain individuals in FCTA are approaching retirement and view our operational areas as part of their retirement benefits?”
The group’s appeal for inclusion seeks to restore fairness and transparency to the parking management operations in the FCT.