Federal Government through the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, has said over 163,000 Nigerian passengers benefited from the Federal Government subsidised inter-state trips for the end-of-the-year festive period.
Alake, who is the Chairman of the Committee on the Implementation of the End of Year Transportation Subsidy Programme of President Bola Tinubu, disclosed this in a progress report released on Monday.
According to him, beneficiaries saved N21,500 and N15,000 each on trips to Abuja and Onisha.
The PUNCH reports that the FG in December 2023 announced 50 per cent reduction in transportation costs along 22 interstate routes during the Yuletide season.
Alake, in a statement on Monday by his Special Adviser, Kehinde Bamigbetan, said the programme provided free transportation on the routes of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and 50 per cent subsidy on transport fares for passengers travelling on 30 routes serviced by bus operators under the Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria.
He said, “Between December 21 and December 31, 2023, figures available show that the NRC conveyed 71,000 passengers, while buses operating under the auspices of ALBON carried 77,122 passengers, and 652 bus trips originating travels from Oshodi Interchange in Lagos carried 15,766. This means no fewer than 163,878 passengers benefitted from the Presidential Yuletide Transportation Subsidy in the first 10 days of the programme.
“Secondly, while train-bound passengers enjoyed total free service, road travellers paid only 50 per cent of the fares. The subsidies depended on the fares ranging from a saving of N21,500 on a Lagos-Abuja road trip fare of N43,000 and N15,000 on a Lagos–Onisha bus fare of N30,000.”
He appealed for cooperation from the passengers and the bus companies to manage the return of passengers from their respective locations back to their bases till Thursday, January 4, 2024, as the programme is still ongoing.