As part of effort to sanitize the public transport system in Cross River State, Governor Ben Ayade, has approved the conversion of 150 ad hoc staff of the Department of Public Transportation (DOPT) to permanent employment.
The beneficiaries of the governor’s gesture had worked as ad-hoc staff in the department for about three years.
Special Adviser, Department of Public Transportation, Mr. Gabriel Okulaja who disclosed this while speaking to newsmen in his office in Calabar, said that besides the 150 staff, the governor has also given directive for the full automation and computerization of DOPT.
Okulaja further disclosed that the governor has equally supported the Department with five operational vehicles for the urban towns of Calabar, Ugep, Ikom, Ogoja and Obudu to ensure smooth operations in the said urban areas.
Additionally, the governor has given approval for the operation of Inter-city Transit system.
He explained that the department under his leadership is committed to working with the vision and direction of the governor’s developmental agenda, particularly in the transportation sector, adding that based on this reality, both the learners’ and drivers’ license unit of the Department would be computerized, and the examination taken online.
The DOPT boss further Disclosed that 10 computers, four data capturing machines, and six computers for examination would be installed at the training room.
Okulaja also stated that the automation programme would lead to a point where every driver will have a unique Identity number, adding that DOPT intends to deliver mass transit in the state for four years with at least two to three corridors.
He said that the Department has equally taken advantage of the CSR, Tax rebate and social housing laws of the state to roll out a programme known as Enterprise Living.
Under the scheme, stakeholders of DOPT like drivers and others will key into the department’s Public Transportation Stakeholders Multipurpose Cooperative and will pay a certain amount to the cooperative every Friday.
According to him, 14 cooperatives have already indicated interest to join the Multipurpose Cooperative.