By Patrick Ekpo & Eseoghene Emuke
Following the successful management of the Akwa Ibom Inter-StateTransport Company, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has announced plans to launch Ibom City Bus Service to ease transportation within the state.
The scheme, according to the state government, is to make intra and intercity transportation within the state more affordable to residents and indigenes of the Akwa Ibom.
The Governor Emmanuel-led administration has also successfully managed the Ibom Airline which has become one of the most competitive lines despite receiving far less than Delta State the federal allocation.
Recall that about two years into the first term administration of Governor Okowa, the Owa-Alero born politician terminated the State’s intercity bus service established by former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
The scheme under Uduaghan’s administration was described as very successful as it also offered free rides for all schoolchildren across the state.
Similarly, Governor Okowa also sold State-owned Delta Line Transport Company to the management of God is Good Development Transport Company in 2017.
The move was greeted by controversies as many stakeholders in the state protested against the sale of the company.
It was alleged that the buses were later shared to politicians in the state after Governor Okowa terminated a contract with the owner of Agofure Motors who was the operator of the service.
But years after Okowa terminated the scheme in Delta, his Akwa Ibom state counterpart, Emmanuel, said he was launching the scheme as part of activities marking the thirty-fifth anniversary of the creation of the state.
According to the plan, the month-long event with the theme ‘Moving Forward’, would herald the launch of a novel bus service scheme for the state, the Ibom City Bus Service, as well as the reviewed edition of Akwa Ibom State Public Service Rules.
These were parts of resolutions reached at the State Executive Council meeting held Friday, August 26, at Government House, Uyo.
The Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals, Mr. Charles Udoh, disclosed the resolutions while briefing Government House correspondents at the close of the meeting.
He said the Governor-in-Council has given approval for “the commencement of a process for the establishment of Ibom City Bus Service” adding that details will be communicated duly to get the public acquainted with the development.
On the new Public Service Rules, the Commissioner said, “the final draft of the Akwa Ibom State Public Service Rules, 2022 edition was approved by Council for gazetting and use in the State Public Service”.
This, he said, was after a thorough review by the Executive Council, considering the importance of the document.
Udoh stressed that besides the significance of the 35th Anniversary in the story of the State’s maturity, it was befitting to roll out the drums to celebrate the last anniversary with Governor Udom Emmanuel at the helms of affairs in the state, affirming that it will be a month-long event, with inputs from the various state government agencies.