Delta denies sale of transport company, confirms N1.6bn debt

• Suspected herdsmen shoot, kidnap businessman in Ebu
The Delta State Government yesterday denied allegations that it had sold its transport company-Delta Line Limited, saying the firm has a debt profile of N1.6 billion.

Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, who reacted to the allegation in Asaba, told journalists at a media briefing that the allegation was not true.

In his words: “Delta Line had not lived up to expectations and government couldn’t continue to waste funds on an unproductive company, hence it sought for experts to do business with it. But Delta Line had a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Good is Good Motors for a 60:40 per cent arrangement.”

Aniagwu who commended journalists in the state for their selfless efforts in reporting the activities of the state government, said: “Only recently, President Mohammadu Buhari commended Okowa for getting full support of the press.

“That goes to show that journalists are working tirelessly to propagate activities of the Okowa administration.”

He, however, regretted that those spreading rumours that Delta Line had been sold progressed in error, especially when they failed to hear government side of the story and conduct a thorough investigation on the matter.

He restated that government wants the company to remain a going concern and that is why nobody can contemplate selling the company.

“If for anything, the name Delta Line must be retained. So, we are going into a Public Private Partnership (PPP), we are only partnering with the private sector that has demonstrated confidence and ability to operate the business.

“There is no intention to short change the state. Rather, the decision is for the best interest of the state,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ebu community in Oshimili North local council was yesterday, thrown into pandemonium as suspected herdsmen allegedly shot and abducted a man on transit before his family members.

Eyewitnesses said the armed suspects also stopped and interrogated a sick woman from the Government Hospital Ebu, who persuaded them to save her life, on the ground that she was just coming from the hospital.

But the attack on the stranger, who was reportedly traveling with his family yesterday, followed reported cases of destruction of crops and farmlands by herdsmen a day before.

It was learnt that the situation has caused tension in the community, as the youths and policemen from the Illah Police Station combed the area in their quest to rescue the victim, but their efforts had yielded no positive result as at press time.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the incident, saying the police were working making effort to rescue the victim.

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