Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has revealed that staff of the state-owned transport company, Delta Line, were relieved of their duties with the understanding that they will be paid their disengagement allowance.
He stated this during a press briefing with journalists on Wednesday to correct a misconception that the workers were sacked, stating that the aim of the partnership with a private organization, God Is Good Motors, GIG, was to help the transport company’s real potentials and for the venture to function properly.
According to him, “I had said on the day that it is a commercial venture and it is supposed to make money for itself and possibly for the State Government which is a form of dividend payment.
“Unfortunately, over time government has continued to pour money into that place as it came back over time with a lot of debt and we cannot continue in that manner,” he declared.
While emphasizing the need for the venture to be profit-making as this will create revenue for the state, the Governor also stated that it was pertinent that the issue of overstaffing should be dealt with, adding that government has had to intervene on several occasions in paying the salaries of the workers of the company.
“We have agreed that this time those staff that will be required will be retained and those who will not be required will be let go because the place was over bloated.
“l only went later to find out that the functional number of vehicles that they have was only about 80 and that functionality was queried because most of this vehicles were not doing well and we have about 400 drivers,” he disclosed.
According to Okowa, “So you now begin to wonder, can we continue to run a commercial venture in that manner? Where you now have five drivers to one vehicle? If we allow that mistake in the civil service, we cannot allow that in a commercial venture as it is Delta Transport Limited.”
He stated that outstanding salaries of individual who were relieved of their duties were paid as well as disengagement allowances of personnel is under review, emphasizing that any of them who still wishes to continue with the company should subject himself or herself to an interview.
On the overstaffing of Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Okowa said the situation had led the Government of the State to come to a resolution to redeploy them to DESTMA where their labour would effective as most of the workers of DESOPADEC had been collecting salaries without doing any work.