Govt Moves To Reduce Transport Fares

BY CLETUS NGWODO

IN a strategic move to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy, Delta State Government says it has set up committee to work out new transport fares charged by the state owned transport company, ‘Delta Line’ as a way of ameliorating the suffering of the masses.

Also to cushion the effects of the removal of the fuel subsidy, the state government is to increase its fleet of buses on various routes from 500 to 1,000 in view of the public outcry in the state that Delta Line buses charge the same high fare in line with the increase in pump price of fuel.

The state Commissioner for Transport, Hon. Ben Igbakpa dropped the hint yesterday in Asaba while fielding questions from newsmen.

Igbakpa who noted that it was unacceptable for government buses to be charging the same fare with the private operators, said the new fares would be made public soon.

He said government is not comfortable with the wastage that it has experienced over the N1.3 billion injected to recapitalize Delta Line Transport Company in 2010, adding that it was doing everything possible to reposition the company for greater efficiency and service delivery.

According to him, considering the damage done to the government investment, over 10 of the workforce have been dismissed for involving in sharp practices, while others have been sanctioned and some have their portfolios reassigned.

The commissioner who regretted that 40 percent of the buses purchased have gone due to accident and payment of compensations promised to evolve a more dynamic approach in the running  of the transport outfit.

He  expressed disappointment at the decay in Delta Line, describing the company’s workshop as a major pipe drain just as he maintained that it was being re-organised to allow private company to run it for maximum profit.

As a pointer to this,  he said 50 Marcopolo buses, 1000 tricycles and 45 water buses for inter and intra services would soon commence operations to further ease transportation problem, facing commuters.

Meanwhile, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan will today launch over 100 buses acquired to boost transportation in the state.

According to the state Information Commissioner, Barrister Chike Ogeah, the buses are part of concerted effort to ease the challenges of transportation occasioned by the recent removal of fuel subsidy.

The event, the commissioner said will hold at commissioners quarters at 1pm. In Asaba and enjoined those concerned to be there on time.