By Ann Ngbea
The Benue State Commissioner for Power and Transport, Hon. Omale Omale said, the Benue State Government is set to provide measures aimed at transforming the transport sector in the state to avert the suffering of both transport workers and passengers.
The commissioner stated this during a tour of major car parks in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
During the tour, the commissioner visited the Drivers’ House of the Nigerian Union Of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Makurdi where he interacted with members of the union who intimated him on the challenges they were facing.
The union members said some of their challenges included: congestion of vehicles close to the roundabout, hike in fuel price, excessive extortion at various checkpoints on the roads, lack of infrastructure, flood and illegal car parks.
The union members also appealed that government should make available loans or vehicles for them for effective service delivery.
Responding, the commissioner directed the union to carry out a proper documentation at the various parks where comprehensive data is collected to note the number of vehicles each park has per day and also note the number they are able to load on daily basis, the traffic flow for a day and also take record of the challenges they face in the cause of their daily duties.
Hon. Omale also reiterated the state government’s resolve to pay greater attention to the transport sector in the state under the Governor Alia led administration while calling on the parks’ managers to continue to do their best in order to improve on their services while they await the governor’s intervention.
He also told the park unions to introduce training and retraining programme for their drivers.
The commissioner also directed the union to ensure that vehicle owners renew their vehicular particulars periodically, noting that government on its part will consider recruiting more Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) and also make available a central motor park through a private and public partnerships arrangement and assured them that loan facilities can be obtained too.
Relatedly, the commissioner also visited Benue Links Transport Company and inspected its facilities.
In an address of welcome, the Acting General Manager of Benue Links, Comrade Alexander Fanafa thanked the commissioner for the visit, saying it was the first of its kind.
The General Manager who conducted the commissioner round the facilities, mentioned the challenges Benue Links was facing such as flood which is a yearly occurrence that usually destroys a lot of properties within and around the premises and appealed to the state government to come to their aid.
Comrade Fanafa assured that, Benue Links Company is ready to partner with the Ministry to have a sustainable working relationship.
Responding, Hon. Omale commended the effort of the Acting General Manager of Benue Links for putting resources together to construct a drainage system in the park to contain the menace of flooding in the park.
He also thanked management of the transport company for sustaining its mission and vision for enhanced service delivery both within and outside the state, even as he urged them to do more in order to earn the support of the Governor Alia’s seven-point agenda.
The commissioner also promised staff of the company of the state government’s support and commitment to partner with them.
Other car parks visited were: Heavy Duty Park, North Bank, Lafia Park, North Bank as well as the High Level Park.