To contain the abrupt increase in the cost of transportation as a result of the removal of fuel subsidies by the Federal Government of Nigeria, Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe state governments have started taking steps necessary for immediate intervention. According to the News Agency of Nigeria’s report, the state governments, which operate their own transport companies, have consistently ensured that their fares remain lower than what obtains in motor parks.
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has approved the release of 50 buses to help the situation. Mallam Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Strategy, said the buses will be added to the fleet of the state-owned transport system, Borno Express Corporation. Gusau also added that 30 vans were also made available for farmers, specifically those living in Maiduguri, for free rides to the more remote parts of the state capital where their farmlands are located.
Ali Modu, a government worker, and Mustapha Abdullahi, a student of the University of Maiduguri (Unimaid), who patronised government buses picking up passengers at N50 per drop, praised and appreciated the government for the support. “I patronise Borno Express buses every day, paying N50 from the Post Office to the University of Maiduguri as against N150 being collected by taxis and tricyclists,” Abdullahi said.
The government of Adamawa state had constituted an unusual committee on palliating the effects of subsidy removal with Dr Amos Edgar, the Chief of Staff to Ahmadu Fintiri, the governor of the state as Chairman of the committee. As unveiled by Edgar the Adamawa state government is planning to purchase shuttle buses for workers and inter-local government transportation at a subsidised rate. He said that the N10,000 monthly subsidy for all workers and pensioners was also approved by the government. The Transport Director of the Adamawa Ministry of Transport, Mr Labaran Salisu said some of the partially leased 250 vehicles in the ministry’s custody for inter-state services, would be deployed for town service at the reduced rate.
Dr. Mohammed Goje, The Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency in Yobe State, said that plans were in progress to provide free transport to students and civil servants. Here are his words, “Very soon the state government will provide buses for free transportation for civil servants and students”. The quotes are from the Vanguard newspaper.
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