RITCO operations kicks off officially
Kigali, 6th February, 2017-Rwanda Interlink Transport Company Limited (RITCO Ltd), a Public-Private-owned Transporter established to mitigate Public Transport in rural and urban launched its operations officially in the country.
The event was officiated by the Minister of State in charge of Transport in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Dr.Alexis Nzahabwanimana accompanied by other government officials from Rwanda National Police (RNP), Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), Private sector federation (PSF), Rwanda Cooperatives Agency(RCA) to mention but a few.
ONATRACOM has had difficulty fulfilling its socio-economic mission, due to high institutional and operating costs, as well as poor management of the institution. This was confirmed by an audit conducted by Ernest & Young in 2012.
ONATRACOM had been operating at an abnormal operational loss; the revenues generated from the current operations did not suffice to curb outstanding arrears.
As of 2013, the institution had accumulated almost 5 billion Frw in arrears related to suppliers, taxes and social security contributions liabilities. So far the Government has paid off ONATRACOM creditors’ equivalent of 2,126,267,511 Frw
To revamp the business done by ONATRACOM, restructuring the institution has been done so as to improve its institutional and operational efficiency. Based on the Cabinet decision of 12 June, 2013 to place ONATRACOM under a private management, the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) proposed that Government of Rwanda should form a joint venture company with Rwanda Federation Transport Cooperatives (RFTC) and continue providing public transport services, especially in rural areas.
The Cabinet meeting of 16 December 2015 approved the establishment of a joint venture between the Government of Rwanda and Private Investors on Public Transport. In this regards, RITCO was established in order to continue providing public transport services, especially in rural areas.
According to the Minister Nzahabwanimana, the existing ONATRACOM buses will be operating under the supervision and management of RITCO board members already in place and the increment of buses will enhance improved Public Transport network, better service delivery, reduction of time on bus stops and lead to a sustainable and competitive business model.
Dr. Nzahabwanimana reaffirms that the initiative is prolific because the company now elaborated a business plan highlighting beneficial routes on both local and international scene, where serving regional routes will top up the company income, reduce local transport costs and increase efficiency in service provision.
The company shareholders, the Government of Rwanda and Rwanda Federation of Transport Co-operatives (RFTC) have finalized basic proceedings to start operations in premeditated routes.
Julius RUKUNDO, the Managing Director of RITCO confirms that the 50 buses will be supplied at the first phase, where by 20 modern buses already in place and the remaining 30 in transit to be delivered early March.2017.” The total number of buses to be supplied is 168 buses which will be supplied in separate phases.
The remaining buses will be available in three months’ time and we assured of comfortably and transporting people in a delightful manner”. Said Julius
RITCO aims at becoming a regional transporter but it will initially start by serving local areas and then after receiving all procured buses it will operate in other neighboring countries.
Julius assures that procured buses will be categorized in two classes, VIP class to transport people who do not wish to travel in countryside places with their own cars and second class buses that will serve ordinary people on affordable price.
Apart from transporting many passengers seated comfortably, RITCO buses will also have adequate places designed to transport baggage.
This will facilitate countryside traders who now spend much money to pay private cars which transport commodities from Kigali and other country cities to their shop destinations appropriately, hence immense transformation.