Akwa Ibom government has attributed the failure of its commercial transport scheme to the destruction of taxis and tricycles which the government had procured for distribution to transporters by political thugs in 2011.
It has also dispelled insinuations by transporters that Governor Godswill Akpabio, is not a promise keeper saying it was a ploy to ridicule the governor.
The Commissioner for Transport, Prince Godwin Ntukude told journalists in Uyo yesterday that government in its bid to ensure a successful commercial transport scheme withdrew motorbikes from Uyo metropolis and paid owners of commercial motorbikes N50,000 to disengage them from commercial motorcycling.
The scheme he said was however disrupted by the unfortunate burning of the cars and tricycles procured byt eh state government by opposition thugs on the eve of the 2011 elections.
“The key word here is agreement not a promise, security agreement that was done in the presence of the security arms of the Federal Government, the Department of State Service and other related security bodies.
“Government went further and paid N50,000 to erstwhile motorcyclists as well as bought some taxis. A few of the taxis were initially released to them; the rest of the taxis that later arrived were unfortunately caught up by the March 22, 2011 inferno, which consumed all of them.
“Since then government could not go back to fulfilling that agreement. A whole lot of them that dropped the motorbikes could not have danced into the cars and into the buses.
“So they were still at all instances going back to the security organizations to remind them of the government’s needs to fulfill its promises to them. This means they throw the whole burden to security arm to keep reminding Akpabio that it would be proper for him to help the people fulfill part of the agreement.” The commissioner explained.
He said that the state government has in recent times been facing challenges with funds as a result of infrastructural development in the state but assured that the governor remained awake to his promises to the transporters before he leaves office.
Ntukude, however, added that the core missions of Akpabio’s assignments in Akwa Ibom State over the past eight years have been to strengthen their capacities and encouraged them to be enterprise conscious.
Meanwhile it was gathered that Akpabio had summoned the various transport unions in the state to discuss modalities to assuage their grievances and has set up a 15-man committee to foresee how taxi cabs; buses and trucks, among others, would be procured and distributed to them.
The meeting it was learnt followed disagreement between the various unions in the transport sector over the distribution of 70 buses procured by the Governor for them.
The Governor had, at the wake of the 2015 campaigns, announced a donation of 7o buses to Akwa Ibom Progressive Commercial, Tricycles, Taxi and Motorcyclists Association, APCOTMA in fulfilment of the promise he made to the union in 2011.


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