By Amos Aar
THE BENUE State commissioner of Power and Transport, Barr Omale Omale Matthew, has said that 80 percent out of 100 buses promised by Governor Hyacinth Alia from the federal government’s subsidy palliative money have been received and the buses are undergoing mechanical confirmation and reconfiguration to be put to use.
Barr Omale who disclosed this to newsmen on Monday in Makurdi said it’s the honest desire of the ministry and as a government to make transportation available, accessible, and affordable for the people that will guarantee their safety to and fro their take off point.
“Addressing the challenges that confront us as Benue people who are desirous of doing business in and out of the state, the Governor made pronouncement of buying additional 100 fleet of buses to which we have received 80 percent of these fleets. They are currently undergoing mechanical confirmation and reconfiguration for us to put use”, Omale revealed.
He further stated: “we are committed that before the close of this November, they would have been properly handed over to Benue Links for use, l for the benefit of Benue people”.
As the Yuletide approaches with attendant security challenges, Omale assured passengers of safety on the roads in Benue Links vehicles, saying the fleets are powered in a way that it will detect any form of compromise in terms of security.
“We can travel in and out of our homes using Benue Links”, he assured.
The commissioner attributed the delay in the completion of the overhaul and transformation project of the Benue Links Ltd to paucity of funds, noting that it’s a “conceptional development that has suffered several setbacks”.
He however acknowledged that the current Ag. GM of Benue Links, Mr Alexander Fanafa, who is a staff of the company and has grown through the ranks is “bringing his passion, enthusiasm, and technical know-how to achieve the transformation of the place.
On the independent power source that other states have already started enjoying, Omale said Benue needs a regulatory framework to start the project, noting that power and transport are closely related.
“This is the first time Benue state is creating the ministry of power and we need to generate for the ministry the appropriate policy framework and once we have this policy framework, we can move again for ourselves to generate a regulatory framework”, Omale said.
Meanwhile, National Record has observed that Benue Links company Ltd is experiencing shortage of vehicles following downward review of transport fares on major routes in the state.
The shortage of vehicles has affected mostly passengers travelling to and fro Makurdi -Adikpo and Makurdi- Vandeikya areas. Makurdi-Vandeikya transport fare which rose to N5000 recently is now N2500 for big buses and N3000 for small vehicles. Passengers are always stranded, waiting for a vehicle to be available before ticket will be sold to them. Other routes like Makurdi-Tse-Agberagba do not have such a challenge as the number of passengers travelling there is low.