From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Workers at the Benue State owned transport company, Benue Links, have rejected the listing of the company among companies that have been put up for sale by the state government.
The workers, through their union on Tuesday, appealed to the state government to allow the company continue running on Public Private Partnership (PPP) as it had been.
Chairman, Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Benue Links Branch, Alexander Fanafa who spoke on behalf of the union explained that Benue Links is the only viable company owned by the state government and should not be thrown away just like that.
“Benue Links is the only viable Government owned company. Benue Links is not murribond and has never shot down except during the lockdown. Irrespective of internal challenges, we are surviving. Benue Links should not be included in the proposed companies to be sold out.”
While noting that Benue Links was not meant to be a profit generating company, Fanafa noted that the company has continued to remit all statutory taxes to the state and federal government as the case may be.
“We have stations in 32 states including Abuja. We have been remitting taxes to the state government with over 300 staff on the payroll, 182 loaders, 1,649 drivers of lease vehicles totalling over 2000 workforce.
“If government sells off the links, it is to our own disadvantage because government has never successfully sold out any company to the advantage of the state. Examples include the Benue Cement, Benue Breweries among others.
“Benue Links should be allowed to continue with the PPP because the staff don’t relax but are always on duty to be able to generate enough revenue to pay themselves. It’s no longer government business that we say it’s business as usual. Everybody is performing his job well and Benue Links is not murribond or under performing,” Fanafa stated.