Okowa at loggerheads with ALGON over welfare scheme

Asaba— The Delta state chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Tuesday accused the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration of hijacking local government constitutional function with the Passengers’ Welfare Scheme.

The scheme was initiated by the state government in 2016 to protect and provide welfare coverage for road transport passengers and travellers.

According to reports by Punch newspaper, the Chairman of ALGON who is also the chairman of the Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr Victor Eboka, has faulted the scheme.

He claimed that there has been resistance by passengers to the scheme and protests by drivers in some local government areas.

Eboka stated that most council chairmen view the scheme as a usurpation of their function and had directed its stoppage.

He further said the councils were constitutionally empowered to manage motor parks, stressing that the councils should be carried along if anything in the running of the scheme.

In his words: “Passengers’ Welfare Scheme is a threat to local government administration; therefore, some chairmen have ordered motor park operators to stop the scheme.

“In Ughelli North, in particular, the council chairman, Chief Godwin Adode, ordered all motor parks in the area to jettison the scheme over non-involvement of the council in its operation.”

Meanwhile, the Manager of the Sirwalk Transport Company, Mr. Amatu Odoji, said passengers were already used to the scheme.

He added that the scheme was working perfectly well in the Warri park not until the local government area ordered that it should be put on hold.

The state government has not publicly reacted to this development at the time of filing this report.

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