Good News: Governor Yahaya Bello Set To Re-Absorb Sacked ‘Kogi Travellers’ Workers

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After suffering untold hardship and excruciating psychological trauma that led to the untimely death of 12 people, there is a ray of hope that the Alhaji Yahaya Bello led administration would soon re-absorb the remaining  130 surviving former workers of Kogi State Transport Company (Kogi Travellers), who were wrongly and unjustly sent on compulsory leave without pay since 30th June, 2011.

The Speaker of the State house of Assembly Rt. Hon. Alfa Imam Umar confirmed this heartwarming development in an exclusive interview with this independent online journalist in Lokoja over the weekend.

According to the Speaker, the legislature have rightly passed a resolution on the issue and gave the express assurance that all is set to re-absorb all the affected staffs in order to put the long-drawn unlawful disengagement saga to  a permanent rest.

Alhaji Umar also declared that all accruing benefits and entitlements of the affected workers before the company was brought to her kneels five years ago, by the former Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, would be fully paid because the amount involved was already captured in this year’s budget  that was recently signed into law by the state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

He praised the magnanimity and high level of responsibility displayed by the State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello on the matter on humanitarian grounds, considering the plights and hardship the affected workers have been facing with all their families all these years.

It was reliably gathered by this journalist that the concerted attempts by the 6th Assembly to find a lasting solution to the vexed issue ran into an unforeseen hitch, as there were glaring conflicts of figures submitted by the Ministry of Transport and the recognized representatives of the disengaged workers, an issue which was finally resolved by relevant authorities.

Essentially, the primary aims and objectives of government in setting up the Kogi State Transport Company which was duly registered in 1993 under the Corporate Affairs Commission, was to provide the masses with subsidized and affordable transportation services.

It was also established by various committees set up in the past to investigate the affairs of liquidated company that, the major reason for the untimely death of the company was premised on persistent government interference in the operation of the company.

In the same vein, it was discovered that frequent changes of the supervisory ministry was one of the major reasons that militated against the smooth operation of the company.

However, while the issue was raging on in the system, the immediate past Governor Capt. Idris Wada in his own wisdom went ahead to establish another privately run company named “Lokoja Metro” to run transportation business, until the company stopped operations before the end of his tenure in office, for inexplicable reasons.

The 6th Assembly also recommended that since the affected workers have not been found wanting in their duty posts while in service, they should be re-absorbed into the Ministry of Transport, Boards and Parastatals based on their technical competence, like their counterparts in the former Kogi State investment company and the Kogi State properties limited, as they have the same status with the former State Transport Company.

The arrears of their salaries and allowances were recommended for payment in line with due process, while those that are due for retirement among them be given their entitlements.

Recall that one of the key components of the change mantra of the Alhaji Yahaya Bello led administration, is premised on the need to right the wrongs of the past and run a responsible and responsive government with human face in the conduct of the affairs of the state.

– Otori Ozigi, a veteran journalist, writes from Lokoja.

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