By Mike Jones

ASABA/Nigeria: The recent sale of 70 percent equity shares of the Delta State Government in the state owned Delta Line Transport Services is generating controversies, as many industrial operators and labour unions in the state are calling the outright give away of the state enterprise a peanut, of N160 million, as against about N5billion, as the access of the company spreading throughout the country cannot be sold for mere millions of naira.

In a recent press release by the state ministry of information, which can authoritatively report emanated from a sister ministry, the State Ministry of Finance, the government justified the reason for the sale of the state equity share due to the fact the company has failed to be commercially viable.

The state government argued that the company has not justified the huge investment capital that had been continuously injected into the company, as there was never any time the company had remitted to the state coffer profits from its operations, but rather the state government had continued to offset the salaries and allowances of staff, contractors and supply obligations.

However the trending issues now is not the sales of the state equity share of 70 percent but the sale of the share to a privately managed transport company, God is Good Motors at a reported price of N160 million, as against the amount of N2 billion offered by the labour union.

The state government and her agents is being fingered in what industrial operators had called mortgaging of the state access, causing the loss of huge amount of money, as with the price of N160 million there is great loss of revenue to the state from the sale.

The government is being accused of dumping the highest bidder because of friendship interest in the sale of the state equity share.

While the state government had not made any official statement on the recent development, source from the government house confirmed that the issue of the sale many be part of the meeting of the state Executive Council Meeting of today, Tuesday 29 August, 2017 or another meeting slated for Wednesday this week.

The source also told the brief  the public outcry may be the handiwork of the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, to raise dust on what they know that the company had not being profitable, and the best option is to sale it to private managers.

Meanwhile at the centre of this controversy is the state labour body which for now has not made any public statement on their failed bid to acquire the transport company, but a source informed that the main concern of the labour body is the faith of the over 7000 workers of the transport company.


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