Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –By Albert OGRAKA: 

In a bid divest some of its state outfits and investments through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, Delta state government has decided to relinquish her 60% stake in Delta Line to God is Goof Motors Limited.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr. Ehiedu Charles Aniagwu has said that the decision of the Delta State Government was beyond political patronage but for the best interest of the state.

Meanwhile, in less than one week after the Delta State Government explained its decision to sell part of its equity stake in Delta Transport Services Limited, as a result of failure to be commercially viable, the State Government has in a renewed effort debunked insinuations that the state transport service has been sold, saying that the company has only been repositioned for greater efficiency and improved profitability.

Recall that a statement signed by Mr. Sam Ijeh, Media Assistant to the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah had on Thursday, August 24, 2017, revealed that the state government opted for sale of part of its equity stake to stem the tide of further deterioration, just as advertisement for expression of interest were made in line with due process following which the successful bidder was considered.

But the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Charles Aniagwu debunked insinuations that the transport company has been sold and stated that Governor Okowa’s administration has the intention of divesting government interests in the company by having 40 per cent equity shares while a reputable transport company takes 60 per cent shares.

At a recent press conference in Asaba on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, Aniagwu insisted that Governor Okowa values the roles the transportation company plays in the lives of Deltans and Nigerians in general and has never contemplated the sales of the company, adding that the State Government only divested 60 percent of its equity shares to ensure greater efficiency and improved profitability.

According to Mr. Aniagwu, “the insinuation that Delta State government has sold Delta Line is false for what was done, was to divest some of government’s equity with a view to bringing-in private hands to efficiently pilot the affairs of the cooperation and are looking at 60-40 equity holding as against 70-30 that was reported in some quarters; this is to ensure that the company comes in, reposition the Delta Line and put it on the path of profitability and when that is done, we can talk about liquidating the debt burden that at the moment has been the bane of the company.”

“Delta State government wants the company (Delta Line) to remain as a going concern, that is why nobody can contemplate sales of the company. We are going into a Public Private Partnership (PPP), we are only partnering with the private sector that has demonstrated so much confidence and ability to run the operation of such business,”

“We are going into a Public Private Partnership (PPP), we are only partnering with the private sector that has demonstrated so much confidence and ability to run the operation of such business. No Memorandum of Understanding has been signed yet but we have made appreciable progress in that direction.”

Aniagwu stressed that the State Government believe that over the years the Delta Line that was set up with very good intentions have not been able to live up to its expectations, both in terms of delivering on its obligation to the staff of the cooperation and also obligation to the state government who have put in enormous amount of funds in ensuring that the entity run as a viable transport company.

On the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) N3 billion bid, the Media Assistant to the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Sam Ijeh mentioned that the Union did not indicate interest at the time of advertisement and neither did it provide details of how it would source funds for the purchase of the shares to be sold, while Mr Aniagwu explained that the union apart from bidding late didn’t have the proven technical, operational and managerial competence to run such a company, stressing that the state government was interested in ensuring that Delta Line was run by competent hands that would ensure its continuous existence.

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E.I.C: Albert Eruorhe Ograka

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