William Attah, Gombe
Gombe State Transport Service, operators of Gombe Line fleet of buses says they lost over N200m during the over 100 days lockdown imposed in the country due to the corona virus outbreak.
Managing Director of the company, Umar Chiroma Abdulsalam stated this during an interview with some journalists in his office Thursday where he prayed that the country does not experience another lockdown.
He said though the 100 days lockdown was necessary to curtail the spread of the virus, it however caused a lot of income setback as the self sustaining company lost over N200m.
According to him, “we had to recall all our drivers back home from different parts of the country in compliance with Government’s directive as we suspended all services for the over three months lockdown”.
He explained that during the lockdown, the company was only able to pay its staff and management half salaries from it’s reserved funds, adding that this was in an effort to cushion the hardship faced by people.
Alhaji Umar Chiroma said the biggest challenge the new management met when they took over more than a year ago was the revenue leakages which weakened the company coupled with very weak fleet of buses.
He stated however that with the purchase of 50 brand new buses on loan by the State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, last year, the transport company was revived with services to the southern parts of the country returned.
The MD also stated that so far, the company had paid back up to 30 per cent (30%) of the loan for the buses and would have done more than that but for the lockdown.
He also revealed that as soon as the company completes offsetting the buses loans, the company would then start remitting revenue to the State Government.
In his words, “we promised to start remitting revenue to the State Government after settlement of our loan for the buses.
“The reason why we don’t remit revenue was, initially, every appointment made by the Executive Governor in Gombe Line, the salaries and allowances of all those appointed were shouldered by the Gombe State Government.
” After the restructuring of Gombe Line where we now have executive directors, instead of remitting to the State Government, the new arrangement is that it should stay here and pay the salaries of all staff of the company. So we have plans to start remitting revenue after we complete the payment of our loan for the brand new buses “, he emphasized.