President Bola Tinubu has approved the intervention of Federal Government in reducing cost of transportation for Christmas and New Year festivities to 50 per cent on all inter-state routes.
Dr Dele Alake, Minister of Solid Minerals, who disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents on Wednesday in Abuja, said that logistics for the Federal Government subsidized transport fare had been concluded.
He said this was part of the President’s resolve to reduce the hardships faced by ordinary Nigerians who wished to travel to see their family and friends during the Yuletide periods.
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‘’In the spirit of Christmas and the end of year festivities, President Bola Tinubu, in another demonstration of his love for Nigerians, has approved that the Federal Government should intervene to bring down the cost of public transportation.
‘’This is to allow our compatriots who want to travel to visit their loved ones and hometowns to do so without stress and the extra burden imposed by the high cost of transport around this period.
‘’The President is well aware of the recent increase in cost of inter-state transportation and even for air travels.
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‘’Traditionally, our people love to travel during Christmas and end of year to be with families and friends and this has been the practice for ages.”
He explained that the reduction in transportation cost would begin from Thursday, until Jan. 4, 2024.
Alake added that the Federal Government would be working through the Ministry of Transportation to reach out to transporters, road transport unions, Nigerian Railway Corporation to seamlessly deliver on this special presidential initiative.
‘’It is in this wise that the Federal Government is announcing, beginning from Thursday, a special discounted holiday season fare on road transport and zero-fare by rail across Nigeria.
‘’What this means is that from Thursday, Nigerians willing to travel can board public transport via minibuses, luxury buses at 50% discount of current cost and all our train services on the routes the trains currently serve at zero cost to and fro on their travels this holiday season.’’
Alake said that this reduction would affect routes like Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Ibadan, Akure, Maiduguri, Sokoto and other major inter-state transportation hubs.
He also said that Tinubu had directed the Police, Department of State Services, the military and other security agencies to collaborate to ensure safety of lives and property during the festive period.
‘’The Federal Government under the leadership of President Tinubu is working very hard to make sure Nigerians have a memorable and happy holiday season.
‘’The President has already directed the police, department of state services, the military and other security agencies to work collaboratively to ensure the holiday period is safe without any security breach in any part of the country.’’
Mr Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, also explained that the measure was not a one-off thing by the Federal Government.
‘’This is part of efforts President Bola Tinubu intends to be doing.
‘’It is not a one-off thing, and even though it is targeted at Christmas, the President would continue to review situations especially national holidays like this and see what kind of intervention can come going forward,’’ he said.
Alhaji Saidu Alkali, Minister of Transportation, disclosed that the Federal Government had already met with the leadership of the transport companies toward a successful and efficient reduction cost.
He said the ministry would maintain all the train routes in order to ensure that Nigerians enjoyed the maximum benefits of these special presidential intervention