Official Website Of The Governor Of Akwa Ibom State
In fulfilment of its mandate; Akwa Ibom Urban Taxi Network Ltd (AKUTAN) has recorded the following achievements inspite of various problems and challenges:-
Generation of Revenue:
The present management of AKUTAN has as its cardinal policy thrust, a determined will to operate the company efficiently and profitably to ensure sustainability. Following the restructuring and re-organizing carried out, revenue profile of the company has remarkably increased.
Improved Service Delivery:
In fulfillment of its objectives, AKUTAN is providing safe, efficient and affordable transport in the state. The company has put in check incessant fare hikes in the inter and intra-city routes.
AKUTAN has provided jobs for over 120 persons including drivers, conductors, monitoring personnel and ad hoc staff. The target group is the youth who otherwise would have been engaged in crime and other vices. The multiplier effect is that AKUTAN has been able to put food on the tables of many families.
Construction of Temporary Repairs/Service Workshop
High cost of repairs of vehicles was identified as a major problem of AKUTAN due to inflated bills by private mechanics who used fake parts for the vehicles. This coupled with negligent and reckless nature of the drivers had contributed to the breakdown of many vehicles. Soon after assumption of duties, the present management of AKUTAN built a temporary Repairs/Service Workshop in its office premises and engaged for mechanics. The vehicles are now being repaired/serviced by the company mechanics with parts purchased by the company. This measure has drastically reduced expenditure and increased revenue.
Screening and Engagement of Experienced Drivers:
As stated above, indiscriminate engagement of inexperienced and reckless drivers resulted in damage and accidented vehicles. Shortly after assumption of duties, the present management of AKUTAN conducted screening interview for drivers at the end of which experienced and responsible drivers among them were retained while others were disengaged. This was followed by proper documentation on all the drivers.
Manpower Development/Provision of Uniforms:
Training workshop have been organized for the drivers and ad hoc staff of AKUTAN on safety, basic car and customer care etc.
The drivers have also been provided with uniforms to give them a sense of identity. Today, AKUTAN can boast of disciplined, responsible and profit-oriented drivers.
Installation of Transport Management System Software:
Hitherto, there was no database on drivers, beneficiaries and vehicle of the company. A computerized Transport Management System (TMS) software has been installed to create a database which features include:
Comprehensive database of all vehicles owned by AKUTAN
Comprehensive database of drivers and beneficiaries which will help to streamline processes unique to the commercial transport industry, such as daily rental collections, weekend remittances, defaulting lessees, lease expiration etc
Provide insight into overall financial performance of the vehicles in a straightforward, comprehensive format.
AKUTAN has the prospect of operating as a viable economic enterprise if the required funds and resources are invested in the company. To achieve this, the following are recommended:-
Funds must necessarily be invested in any economic enterprise in order for it to succeed. Adequate funding of AKUTAN will lay a solid foundation for effective service delivery and productivity. Monthly operational funds should be provided for servicing and repairs of vehicles in its fleet. Government should assist with fund for the resuscitation of grounded vehicles in the fleet to boost the system.
Procurement of vehicles:
The few vehicles in AKUTAN fleet are inadequate to meet the transportation needs of the populace. In order to create the desired impact and inspire confidence of the commuters, vehicles should be readily accessible and frequent enough so that the waiting time at the trip origin or trip terminal have negligible impact on commuters. Therefore additional vehicles should be acquired to boost AKUTAN’s fleet. A system of operating the vehicles profitably has been set up by the management to ensure increased revenue generation.
Leasing of Vehicles:
In the future stringent modalities for leasing out new vehicles will be systematically drawn up taking into consideration the criteria for distribution, repayment and maintenance processes. It is imperative that proceeds are properly harnessed to make it a revolving and sustainable scheme.
In order to create awareness and make its services accessible to the public, activities and operations of the company are being widely publicized on electronic and print media for increased patronage.
A computerized accounting system to capture the income and expenditure of each of the vehicles in the fleet is being maintained. A functional Finance and Account Department has been set up with an Internal Audit Unit to ensure checks and balances. Revenue is being paid into designated Government account and the company’s account is being audited annually.
Equipping of Repairs/Service Workshop:
The workshop built by the management of AKUTAN needs to be equipped with modern tools and equipment. It should have a spare parts storage unit with original parts purchased directly from the manufacturing company. The workshop, if well equipped, could also serve as skills acquisition centre for the teeming unemployed youth in the state. It will generate income to government as the demand for such facility has been identified as in the case of the Hyundai and Ford Focus whose beneficiaries have to travel to Port Harcourt and Calabar to get their vehicles serviced/repaired.
Provision of Loading and off-loading terminal:
AKUTAN needs an operational Transit Terminal where all the fleets originate from to their designated routes. This will help commuters to have easy connectivity to their destinations. It is suggested that AKUTAN should be provided with a separate terminal in all areas of its operation in order to stem interference and incessant attacks on its vehicles and staff by private motor park operators who see AKUTAN as threat.