The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Transport,Comrade Chibuzor Uwajeh,has explained how workers of the Delta Transport Company,operators of Delta Line, allegedly ran down the company,necessitating the need to partner with the private sector to revamp it.
Comrade Uwajeh made the explanation while speaking to journalists on the protest embarked upon by the workers under the Amalgamated Union of Public Civil Service Technical and Recreational Employees (AUPCTRE),over the planned takeover of Delta Line by God is Good Motors.
According to him,since assumption of office in March,2016,some of the workers have been either sacked or suspended for allegedly stealing motor engines and other motor spare parts,selling company‘s vehicles and non remittance of money from outstations.
He said he was fully in support of government’s plan to partner the private sector to make the transport company viable as Delta Line had failed to meet the objective for which it was set up,adding that past administrations had contemplated this action,especially after provision of about 200 buses that were not fully accounted for.
The SSA revealed that he inherited old buses which he operated to pay about N100million debt owed through various sectors before his assumption,adding that some of their losses were embedded in litigations,accidents and stealing.
However,Comrade Uwajeh assured the workers that the state government had good plans to address their interests and entitlements in the transport company, stressing that nobody wouldl be thrown into the labour market as a result of the partnership.
He said that contrary to perception, the state government did not sell Delta Line but was partnering to ensure its viability, contending that union leaders were aware that the place was not viable.While advising the workers to shun violent protest and await the outcome of government plans for their welfare,he advised the union leaders to seek audience with the government,rather than calling out workers on protest.
Earlier,the state Chairman of AUPCTRE, Comrade Jerry Okosun,while addressing the workers at Delta Line Headquarters, Asaba,said the workers had not been officially informed of the partnership with God is Good Motors,adding that they were not happy the company was allegedly sold for paltry sum.He said they would continue to protest until the decision was reversed because Delta Line is a public property belonging to Deltans.
Some of the workers who spoke to the press expressed the fear that their entitlements and benefits had been jeopardized as a result of the new deal.