In line with the Rivers State Government’s new vision as it relates to the transportation sector, the Rivers Transport Company (RTC) says it could create more jobs well above the 250 workers currently in its employ.
Beyond that, the company hinted that it has fine-tuned a comprehensive plan of action capable of giving a boost to the state’s much-needed Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The Chairman and Chief Executive of RTC, Chief Ibe Eresia-Eke divulged this in Port Harcourt yesterday in an interview with The Tide.
Chief Eresia-Eke said the prevailing economic misery in the country which, he notes, is partially linked to the low IGR of most states of the federation, calls for concerted efforts at helping government diversify its source of income by looking beyond the diminishing federal allocation.
Citing a recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which revealed an uncomfortable IGR status of most states, he stated that the state has continued to stay afloat beyond the federally-shared revenue owing to the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration’s prudence and far-reaching IGR efforts.
He commended Governor Wike for not “morbidly depending on the money being shared from crude oil revenues to provide the numerous social infrastructures in the state, adding that it was in the larger public interest to complement his untiring efforts that RTC has made some feasible proposals to the state government for his consideration.
“RTC is as very viable place. It is the only state-owned transport company of its kind in this part of Nigeria. 99 per cent of our vehicles are privately-owned but managed by us. We only collect 20 to 25 per cent commission from where we pay the salary of some 250 people, maintain our facilities, pay taxes and other local levies promptly.
“Presently, of the 700 vehicles in our fleet, RTC has about 10, which is critical. Imagine if we have our own vehicles, the sky would be the limit as we would generate more revenue for the state and create jobs with the employment of more drivers, mechanics and others.
“Indeed, RTC can contribute greatly to the state IGR if supported by government to acquire vehicles through grants or loans payable within two to three years. We are not asking for free money, but only appealing that the State government guarantees our bank loans as banks cannot grant us loans as a wholly owned government company”.
Eresia-Eke who stated that a 15-seat Toyota Hiace Bus costs about N25 million hinted that RTC has approached the Bank of Industry (BOI) which has agreed to provide the company with 50 buses, adding that the deal was before the Governor for consideration.
He expressed the hope that with Wike’s determination to transform the transport sector and make it contribute to the state IGR, including the facelift he recently gave the company, he would give the deal expeditious action.