For a meaningful socioeconomic development to take place, society must have an efficient Transport system. That is why when there is something wrong with this sector, it affects other sectors of the economy. In Katsina state, there are growing complaints and discontent on the conduct of Katsina state Transport Authority – KTSTA – a state owned transport company. Passengers are lamenting on the general inefficiency and poor services of the company.
A journey that supposed to last for 2 hours now take 4 hours to complete. I read a particular passenger who has been using the KTSTA for 13 years. He usually follow the early morning vehicle and arrives Zaria by 8.30 am but now it took him to 11am, an additional two and a half hours.
Back then, people shun commercial transport to patronize KTSTA because the vehicles are new, fast and more convenient; the transport fares was relatively cheap and affordable when compared to it’s counterparts in the private sector – NURTW and NARTO, but now the company is a shadow of its former self. The vehicles are old and wreckage.
We should ask what went wrong to the once giant transport company now battling to survive. What made the company to be so successful before? The success recorded by the KTSTA then, was attributed to many factors which included; the cooperation and non-interference of the Shema administration. The company was allowed to properly manage it’s affairs. Secondly, the managerial and technical expertise of the previous Genaral Managers; Surajo Makera and Alhaji Gambo Rimi which placed emphasis to service delivery. The management have set a target of purchasing a brand new vehicle every month. The buses are being purchased from the little monthly revenue generated by the company through transport fares. All these were possible because of the high premium the then Governor, Shema gave to the transport sector. Rimi once said “The administration provides an annual matching grant of N100 million to the organization to boost its operations”.
However, the reverse is now the case. A glance at the vehicles depicts anything that is wrong with the company. Nothing more worrisome than the sights of the wreckage vehicles loaded with passengers. On the part of the GM, the first initiative undertaken by Babangida Nasamu on his assumption to office was to have a portrait of him and Masari placed at the back of the vehicles. This shows that he is bound to fail right from the beginning.
Most of the supporters and image makers of Masari administration put the blame on the fact that the buses are old and that KTSTA in its present condition could not afford to procure new ones; that the company is now responsible for paying salaries, running cost and other expenditures. let’s agree that all these are true but what they failed to tell us is to whom the blame on the failure to procure new vehicles should be apportioned? Were there no payment of salary before now? What happened to the revenue generated through the transport fares?
In my opinion, it has to be one of the two: either the government not supporting the company but generating too much from it at the expense of quality services; or there is massive mismanagement. If not why were they unable to procure new vehicles as was the practice before. But I am more inclined to believe in the former which is in agreement with what a renowned investigative journalist in Katsina once published in “leadership A Yau” that Masari administration right from its assumption in to office has never allocated any funds to the company.
Insinuations abound that there are vehicles in the garage that needs minor repairment but were abondoned to rust due to sheer negligence. If this is true, then i put the blame on the GM, Babangida Nasamu. Some people call for the General manager to be sacked. Much as I believe that he is incompetent, I don’t think showing him the exit door alone will solve the problem
Masari should know that KSTA is one of the few public institutions that the people are feeling its impact. I don’t think it is wise for the governor to let it collapse. They should also know that the company belongs to Katsina people not PDP or any other political party. They should stop playing politics with people’s welfare. If the previous administration could manage it successfully I see no reason why the present administration should fail to do so. History will remember Masari as someone who oversaw the destruction of once efficient transportation company unless adquete measures are taken to reverse the tide.
Allah raya Jihar Katsina