The Committee on Implementation of End of Year Transportation Subsidy Programme of President Bola Tinubu, said over 160,000 passengers so far, benefitted from the programme.
The Chairman of the committee and Minister of Solid Minerals Resources, Dr Dele Alake made this known in a progress report on Monday in Lagos.
President Tinubu on Dec. 19, approved the provision of free transportation on the routes of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
The President also approved 50 per cent subsidy on transport fares for passengers travelling on 30 routes serviced by bus operators, under the aegis of Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON).
On the overall assessment of the scheme so far, Alake enthused that it had been a huge success, emphasizing that the transportation rebate was a demonstration of the level of love the President has for Nigerians.
He said the programme recorded impressive results, from Dec. 21 to Dec. 31, 2023, the NRC conveyed 71,000 passengers, while buses operating under the auspices of ALBON carried 77,122 passengers.
The minister also revealed that 652 “bus trips originating travels” from Oshodi Interchange in Lagos, carried 15,766 passengers.
“Between Dec. 21 and Dec. 31, 2023, figures available show that the NRC conveyed 71,000 passengers, while buses operating under the auspices of ALBON carried 77, 122 passengers.
“Also, 652 bus trips originating travels from Oshodi Interchange in Lagos carried 15,766 passengers.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 travelers 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 said.
Alake said the programme was a demonstration of the President’s empathy and love for the Nigerian people, who were culturally and emotionally committed to travelling to their home towns at the end of the year.
He said the programme was also aimed at easing the financial burden of citizens, who were facing some economic challenges due to the global pandemic and other internal factors.
The minister said the committee took some remedial measures to address some identified gaps in the execution of the programme, such as adding two more routes, and engaging other bus-owning stakeholders.
Alake added that the committee also engaged the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) the State-owned Transport Companies, and the Private Transport Operators Association (PTONA) and collaborating and sensitising Nigerians through media platforms.
He appealed for cooperation from the passengers and bus companies, to manage the return of passengers from their respective locations back to their bases till Thursday, as the programme was still ongoing.
The minster said the yuletide transportation programme sought to meet the mass of Nigerians at their points of need.
On the arrangement for the return leg of the trip by travellers, Alake also urged them to initiate their return journey as early as possible to secure seats on the coaches and buses.
He also appealed to all the bus companies involved to demonstrate faith, integrity and patriotism by applying the 50 per cent subsidy and making enough vehicles available.
The minister added that the committee would continue to monitor compliance and intervene whenever and wherever necessary.
Alake, thereafter, assured that the appropriate government security agencies had been properly briefed to ensure free embarkation and disembarkation of passengers at the parks. (NAN)