Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has lifted the proscription placed on the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state.
Ikpeazu made this known on Tuesday when members of the National Executive Council of the union paid him a visit at the Government House, Umuahia.
The governor said that the decision to lift the ban was informed by steps taken by the national leadership of the union to call its members to order.
He said that he had accepted the apology tendered by the union, adding that the state government and NURTW ought to be partners in progress.
Ikpeazu described the union as a very important sector and mainstay of Abia economy, noting that the union was a major contributor to the growth of trade and commerce in the state.
He said that the state government had enjoyed a good working relationship with the union and all motor unions in Abia.
The governor, however, added that the state government would not relent in evolving programmes and policies that would promote growth in the transport sector.
“We try to complement the efforts of the union here in providing services and welfare for road transport workers by investing a lot of money in road infrastructure and urban renewal.
“We also spend a lot of money in trying to maintain security, law and order.
“We are working in synergy with the motor unions to ensure security of lives and property in the state.
“Abia is, perhaps, one of the few states that rolled out ambulances on the highways to assist road traffic accident victims.
“Our government is working to complement efforts of the local union to ensure that motorists plying the roads do so in safety,” he said.
Ikpeazu, therefore, urged the caretaker committee, set up by the national leadership of NURTW, to reciprocate government’s goodwill towards the union and restore normalcy to NURTW in Abia.
Earlier, Mr Ibikunle Baruwa, the National President of NURTW, thanked the state government for lifting the ban on the activities of the union in the state.
According to Baruwa, the union encourages its members to be law-abiding and will not tolerate a situation where any of its members shows any form of disloyalty to the government.
He disclosed that a caretaker committee had been set up to manage the affairs of the union in Abia, up until a substantive state executive council would be put in place.
Baruwa advised members of the union to be law-abiding and assured the governor that the union would continue to obey the government’s directives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Abia Government had on January 12 proscribed the union, owing to its flagrant disregard to government’s directives to harmonise the transport activities through an e-payment system.