25 November 2012

Nigeria: Delta Govt. Says 400 Persons Already Employed Through New Transport Scheme

The Delta Government says about 400 persons have so far been employed through the new transport scheme in the state.

Mr Benson Igbakpa, the State Commissioner for Transport, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba.

He said that those employed included drivers for the Marcopolo buses, bus officers as well drivers for the hiace buses, adding that food vendors had also increased in the various new bus parks.

Igbakpa, however, said that recruitment for vulcanisers, ticketing officers and maintenance engineers would soon be carried out as plans had reached advance stage on the issue.

He also disclosed that about 75 persons had been arrested for violating the new transport law on the restriction of the activities of commercial motor cyclists in some cities in the state.

He explained that while 45 persons were arrested in Warri, about 30 were arrested in Asaba, adding that eight persons had so far been charged to court; while a further 35 persons were arrested at Orerokpe for vandalizing the government buses.

Igbakpa noted that government was not unaware of the teething problems of the new transport scheme and was working out how best to cushion the effect.

He told NAN that aside the tricycles and Marcopolo buses, government had also provided 10 city shuttle buses for Asaba and 20 buses for Warri to alleviate the challenge posed by the restriction order.

The commissioner said the transport sector was huge for free economy business, adding that private sector participation was most welcome for the development of the sector.

He said the new transport scheme, started with taxis, was sabotaged to frustrate government efforts.

" But this does not mean that taxi companies or individuals cannot operate taxi drop services in the state, they are very welcome to do so."

Igbakpa said that the state had decided to partner with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to add a private driven touch to the sheme.

He explained that this would give the union a sense of belonging, adding that the 50 buses recently given to the union was on loan to be paid in five years. (NAN)

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