Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:25 am
Sam Obinna Ibe/Umuahia.
The General Manager of Abia Line Network Company Limited, Ugochukwu Uwaeke, has lauded the giant strides made by Abia State on her 24 years of existence saying that the dreams of the founding fathers had been met with the election of Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu from Abia South Senatorial zone as the governor of the state.
Answering questions from TheNEWS in Umuahia on Monday 31 August 2015, the Abia Line General Manager noted that the founding fathers of the state envisioned Charter of Equity where the components units of the state should be able to produce the governor. To this end, he expressed delight that the dream has come to fruition with the election of Ikpeazu as governor of the state from Abia South, adding that Abia North and Central had already taken their turns respectively.
On achievements made by Abia Line Transport so far, he expressed satisfaction that the company under his watch has done very well as a self-sustaining outfit though he admitted that it has not been an easy task after all. He disclosed that he was appointed the General Manager by the former governor on 2 May 2012 and that he is now serving under Governor Ikpeazu. He revealed that on assumption of office, he inherited 551 staff. Some have retired while some died. Now he has 514 employees, adding that though it has not been easy, the company is doing very well. The GM posits that the company had fewer buses on assumption about 21 of them but his tenure had witnessed 53 buses into the fleet of the corporation.
On the challenges Abia Line Company is facing, he explained that initially they had seven loading bays in Umuahia, four in Aba but following the efforts of the past government to rid the state of illegal motor parks, they lost all the seven parks scattered in Umuahia and lost one in Aba that were revenue generating parks. He explained but when his management complained to the state government, “we were given another park which has all the facilities of a modern park. He commended the state government for this gesture of Central park, noting that it has saved the company the pains of paying N7 million rent a year in all the hitherto lost illegal motor parks.” Uwaeke explained that the ban on illegal parks was meant to sanitise the capital city of traffic congestion especially that of Isi gate.
He maintained that their charges are moderate and staff trained to be courteous when dealing with passengers. He added that as “Ember Months” (September to December) approach, the company gives drivers lectures on the need to drive carefully and that Federal Road Safety corps had given its corporation commendation for driving carefully. The GM said that they advise drivers not to indulge in alcohol and that there is a ban on its sale and consumption in any of their parks.