ASABA/Nigeria: The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has come to the defense of the Delta State government for disengaging over 500 workers of the Delta State Transport Company, Delta Line.
In a press statement by the state party publicity Secretary, Dr Michael Osuaza, the party while not denying the alleged statement by the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, called the statement a desperate attempt to muddle facts, whip up sentiments and score cheap political points.
The PDP stated that the opposition party arguments is not new, as it was a rehash of their old stands of the government selling off the state assets.
“It was simply a rehash of the same old story of how the Government is supposedly selling off the assets of the State without providing any concrete evidence to support this puerile assertion.”
It reminded Deltans that what led to the government decision to partially disinvest from the transport company was because losses that the state was experiencing from the managers a supposedly income generating company.
“It is imperative for us to refresh the memory of all Deltans, who are not unfamiliar with the dismal performance of Delta Line Company, that it became necessary to embark on the partial privatisation of the company to put it on the path of efficiency, profitability and sustainability.”
“The company had for long fallen short of its mandate and had become a cesspool of corruption and a huge drain pipe on the resources of the State”.
The Peoples Democratic Party stated that the state cannot continue to do same thing, which rather to bring profit, had consistently failed the state and the people of Delta, as even some APC states shut down the state transport companies, because of same abysmal performance.”
“It has been said that to keep doing the same thing and expect different results is akin to insanity. Unlike some APC States that completely shut down their transport company for similar reason of waste and inefficiency without payment of staff severance entitlements.”
While further admonishing the opposition APC, it stated that the government under Okowa opted to chart a path that will infuse life into the transport company, and yield dividends to the good of the people.
“The Delta State Government under Governor Okowa opted to chart a new path that will infuse life into Delta Line and yield dividends to the good people of Delta State whose tax money had been funding the company.”
The party reminded the opposition that the state government did not carryout the excise without following due process, as advert was placed for expression of interest by members of the public.
“In the cherished values of transparency, accountability and prudent management of resources for which the Okowa administration is known for, the State Government advertised for Expression of Interest in the company in two national newspapers as required by law.”
“After due consideration the State Executive Council preferred the bid submitted by God is Good Motors, a renowned transport company with proven track record of expertise, efficiency and sound management. Consequently, the State Government accepted its bid of N161m and divested 60% of its equity holding in the company.
The statement debunked the claim that the state governor did the disinvestment for personal gain, as he would have gone for the N2 billion offer, just as the bidder only submitted their bids after the two weeks that was expected bidders to submit expression of interests.
“Continuing to make a song and dance of the =N=2B bid submitted by another bidder, the APC has, unwittingly, undone its claim that Governor Okowa is selling off the assets of the State for personal gain. Were that to be the case, the Okowa administration would have jumped at the N2b offer and cash in on the seeming misfortune of Delta Line.”
“The bidder in question did not submit its bid within the two-week period stipulated in the advertisement. Nevertheless, the Government bent over backwards to consider their bid. Unfortunately, they could not provide proof of their funding capacity, a fundamental requirement for a successful bid.”
“This supposedly highest bidder had no track record in the transport business and, therefore, no operational structures on ground.
It further stated that, the government did not only follow due process but also involved AUPCTRE, which is responsible for the welfare of staff of the workers of the company, were carried along in all the dealings.
“It is equally important to remind the dubious elements in APC that the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), the Union responsible for the welfare of Delta Line workers were carried along in all the dealings and negotiations of the State Government with God are Good Motors.”
The statement while calling on the new management to give Deltans the right of first refusal in the engagement process of new staff, it wondered while the opposition is playing the ethnic card.
“We are indeed shocked and greatly disturbed at the ethnic bigotry of the APC, which suggests that only Deltans must be employed as staff of Delta Line. It is indeed a sad reflection of the petty mind-set and crude agenda of a party which is aspiring to govern a cosmopolitan State like Delta State.”