During the festive season, more than 163,000 passengers reaped the benefits of the Federal Government’s subsidized inter-state travel initiative, according to the Chairman of the Committee on the Implementation of the End of Year Transportation Subsidy Programme, Dele Alake.
Minister Dele Alake, who also serves as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, shared this positive outcome in a progress report released on Monday. The report highlights the success of the transportation subsidy program initiated by President Bola Tinubu.
Alake revealed that passengers experienced substantial savings during their travels. Those heading to Abuja saved a significant N21,500, while those journeying to Onitsha enjoyed a saving of N15,000 each.
This initiative not only facilitated convenient travel for over 163,000 individuals but also contributed to making the festive period more affordable for many, reflecting the government’s commitment to supporting citizens during special occasions.
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.