Posted by From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa on
True to his words that he would create wealth for the people of Bayelsa State, Governor Goodluck Jonathan has begun the first phase of the wealth creation scheme with the purchase of over 100 Peugeot vehicles to be distributed to the people and used as taxis.
True to his words that he would create wealth for the people of Bayelsa State, Governor Goodluck Jonathan has begun the first phase of the wealth creation scheme with the purchase of over 100 Peugeot vehicles to be distributed to the people and used as taxis. The scheme, has the dual advantage of providing employment and solving the transportation problem faced by residents and visitors alike in the state.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Ononye Beredugo, said the gesture was the first of its kind in the state.
"This is the first of its kind in the state and we believe it will go a long way in reducing the untold hardship suffered by Bayelsans and their guests, especially with the advent of the rainy season".
She said the state government was not only creating employment for over 90 people, but also providing a source of livelihood to over 450 people via the scheme.
Governor Jonathan said his government had deliberately not allowed itself to be intimidated by critics who insist that government had no clear cut programme about wealth creation.
"This is the first leg of the empowerment scheme that will affect a large number of people. Many people accused us that we claimed from day one that we were coming to handle wealth creation programme and that we were yet to come up with a clear policy. I tell people that if one must come up with a sustainable approach to wealth creation, then one must take time to plan.
"Our slogan is that you must not play politics with development, because if we had wanted that we could have done so for it to be celebrated in the so- called 100 days. But we said no because the issue is beyond celebration and rituals. It involves coming up with a sustainable approach, otherwise it will collapse after the celebration."
According to Jonathan, the scheme has two categories. One involves the distribution of the Peugeot vehicles to be used as taxis within Yenagoa metropolis as the kilometers of the state road network expand, while in the other category, the vehicles, with drivers will be attached to hotels to assist visitors to move around.
He explained the wisdom behind this. "In Yenagoa, we have seen that people are coming in everyday as the hotels are permanently booked. And not everybody that travels from other parts of the country comes with his car. Therefore, if you are in Yenagoa you should be able to hire a car for a day or two to move around."
To encourage those interested in becoming beneficiaries of the scheme, the government announced a 50 per cent subsidy if half of the total cost was paid back within six months. Those not able to meet up within the stipulated six months would get 30 per cent subsidy.
The whole idea, government said, is to encourage people to be hardworking, warning however, that government would not allow the vehicles to be turn to personal use as they are solely meant for commercial. Any beneficiary that turns it to personal use risks impoundment of vehicle.
Those with sinister motive to bolt away with the car, government says with three referees this is not possible. The referees would include a senior civil servant; or political office holder, whether by appointment or election; community head and clan head.