*vows To Holistically Turn Around Socio-Economic Fortunes Of Gombe
*acknowledges journalists’ role in societal development
By; KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has commissioned forty brand new buses as part of his administration’s commitment to providing affordable, convenient and reliable means of transportation to the citizens of Gombe State.
30 of the buses were deployed to the fleet of the State Transport Service, popularly known as Gombe Line, five buses to the five newly established mega schools and two ambulances to hospitals in order to help them address their essential mobility needs while similar gestures were extended to Gombe State Students Association (GOSSA) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in recognition of the constructive role they play in the development of the society.
Recall that Governor Inuwa had on coming to office procured fifty (50) brand new buses for the Gombe Line, bringing to 80 the total of buses bought by the present administration to enhance service delivery at the State transport company.
According to a statement signed by the Director-General (Press Affairs) Government House Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, dated Monday November 8, 2022, speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Governor Inuwa Yahaya observed that Gombe Line plays a vital role in the physical integration and social cohesion of the people by connecting communities, opening doors to travelers, facilitating the movement of goods and services, as well as providing job opportunities to teeming youths.
“With these additional buses, this brings to 80 the total number of buses bought since the inception of our administration. This will no doubt enhance service delivery and help Gombe Line to open up new routes so as to better connect our people with other parts of the country. Gombe Line is our ambassador to the world that helps in connecting Gombe to the outside world and vice versa”.
He said the Gombe State Transport Service is one of the first areas of his administration’s reform programmes.
“Known in the past as a drain on public resources, we have repositioned it for improved service delivery and efficient management. Today, Gombe Line is able to meet its financial obligations to its lenders as at when due. We have transformed it into a commercially viable and fiscally responsible entity. It is now able to finance its operations and expenses from its own revenues, and at the same time provides subsidized, affordable and convenient transportation to our people”.
The Governor explained that the transport sector is important to the economy and livelihood of the people, hence the recent distribution of 1000 tricycles, popularly known as KEKE NAPEP as part of an empowerment programme to provide jobs to the teeming youths as well as ensure affordable transportation across all nooks and crannies of the State.
He maintained that the ultimate target of his administration is to create a transport-sector support fund that will finance the provision of transport vehicles in both the rural and urban areas.
This, according Inuwa Yahaya, is an initiative that will help connect rural farmers to the market and link villages, towns and cities, while expanding inter-State transport.
“Our aim is to provide our people with modern, robust, and high-quality transport infrastructure in order to meet rising demands. Very soon, we are going to commission the Gombe Mega Park project, which we completed after it was abandoned by the previous administration. The project will give us a befitting motor park that will serve the needs of travelers and visitors alike”.
He said his administration is committed to continuing on the trajectory of financial discipline and prudence.
The Governor ccommended he new management of the state transport outfit for the successes recorded under a short period of time, urging them to take good care of the new vehicles and ensure strict maintenance culture.
He said his administration is equally giving 5 buses to the 5 Mega Schools in order to help them address their essential mobility needs while extending similar gestures to GOSSA and NUJ in recognition of the constructive role they play in the development of the society.
The Governor used the ceremony to thank all stakeholders for their roles in making the initiative a great success and the people of the state for their continued trust and patronage of the services of Gombe Line, assuring of his administration’s continuous commitment to the people across all sectors of human development.
Earlier speaking, the Secretary to the Gombe State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi observed that history has repeated itself because on coming to office, precisely October 2019 the Governor Commissioned 50 brand new Buses and now another 30 for the state transport company with 10 more for schools, Unions and other government establishments in the state.
He commended Governor Inuwa Yahaya for giving the state transport service and the the youths, especially students a pride of place in his overall administration’s determination to holistically turn around the social and economic fortunes of the State.
The sole administrator of Gombe State Transport Service, Usman Mamman Kamara had while welcoming guests to the ceremony, revealed that in less than four years Governor Inuwa Yahaya has transformed the company’s capacity from managing facilities of one hundred million naira to over one billion naira.
“At this point we are proud to report to His Excellency that the servicing of the facility of over one billion naira granted by the Infrastructure Bank for the 50 buses launched by your administration in October 2019 is on course. Infact as at today, the balance of the facility plus interest is just over 170 million and we project that this will be fully settled by April 2023”.