The vicious nature and menace of touts on residents, investors, customers, business partners and visitors to Onitsha has left many with the perception that touting can never be abolished in the city. Their despicable activities which include incessant harassment, damage to property and illegal toll collections on the roads, particularly on the Upper Iweka axis of the city has immensely contributed to the diminishing business fortunes of Anambra State over the years.
Apart from the scare of coming into the state, customers have diverted their businesses to neighboring states. Gridlocks are always the order as the touts block all roads in the bid to trap their victims. It is estimated that businesses worth over N3billion may have been lost directly and another N100million indirectly through the activities of these hoodlums since the last three years. Worse is that the touts appear to hold the city to ransom working with impunity and parading themselves as representing the government in the full glare of security operatives.
Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture ONICCIMA, has been in the forefront of the vanguard campaigning against the activities of these hoodlums; seizing every opportunity to advocate for the government to find lasting solutions to their menace.
It is therefore a thing of great joy to Anambrarians to observe that since January 08, 2020, the Government of Anambra State through the men of the Anti-Touting Squad launched an unprecedented manhunt and clampdown against these touts, their cohorts and sponsors.
ONICCIMA hereby congratulates our Executive Governor, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, Akpokuedike Global and leadership and members of the Anti-touting Squad for the political will and masterly execution of the assignment.
We wish to advise the State government, particularly the Anti-touting Squad who is directly in the battle front; with their accompanying mobile court to be courageous and sustain the fight head-on without fear or favour. Sentiments and bribery are among the factors that could hamper the success of this operation; thus, the team should avoid every compromising temptation.
ONICCIMA is confident that one year from now, the impact of this particular action shall be obvious in the economic fortunes of the state.