The South-South zonal chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Comrade Uwem James has expressed displeasure over the Akwa Ibom State governments continuous attempts to interfere in their Union’s right. This indication was made known during the inauguration ceremony of the Mini-Bus executive branch of the NURW at Uyo local government council recently.
According to him, the State Ministry of Transport and some local government officials do not want to draw a line between the functions and operations of the government and that of the union, especially when it has to do with transportation. He said the state government has the legitimate right of revenue collection has stepped into managing the affairs of the transporters.
Comrade James condemned in strong term the action of the state government in constituting a management committee at the motor parks where there is no government owned vehicles and workers, noting that the transport union is vested with the obligation of constituting and managing such committees.
While calling the attention of the state government to the non-interference pact they signed in 2013, Comrade James who doubled as the Auditor general, Nigeria labour Congress (NLC) urged the Akwa Ibom State government to allow the union function optimally, to avoid misunderstanding.
He advised the state government to allow the road transport union the mini-bus executives to sell their own tickets to the drivers while the government collects tax which is their right.
In his speech, the Public Relation Officer of The Federal Road Safety Corps, Akwa Ibom State Command, Mr. Godsgift Owen said the FRSC is always ready to partner with any group that work in tandem with the norms of the land. He advised the Mini-Bus drivers to always drive safely, while remembering their families and loved ones they left behind at home.
However, the newly sworn in Chairman of the mini-bus branch, Comrade Mathew Asuquo noted that the Union has experienced a lot of activities of persons in the transport sector which he noted as a disincentive to operators of mini-buses in Uyo. He therefore assured his members that the Union shall abide by the laws of the land and will promptly seek redress if their right is challenged. Comrade Asuquo appealed to all the security agents and local governments to partner with the mini-bus Union in order to benefit from the bus scheme.