In a groundbreaking move, President Bola Tinubu’s Yuletide Transport Subsidy interventions have garnered widespread praise from travellers nationwide. The initiative, aimed at alleviating the financial strain of transport costs during the festive season, has been met with enthusiasm and gratitude.
Segun Tomori, Special Assistant on Media to the Chairman, Yuletide Transport Subsidy Inter-ministerial Committee, Dele Alake, conveyed the sentiments of appreciative travellers. The initiative, offering a 50% discount on inter-state bus transport along 22 major routes from December 21 to January 4, 2024, and free train rides by the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) within the same period, has proven to be a game-changer.
Tomori emphasized the profound impact of the intervention, stating, “Travelling to see their loved ones at the end of the year has been the norm for Nigerians, for decades, irrespective of religious inclinations. Therefore, the far-reaching effect of discounted inter-state bus fares and free train rides on the citizenry cannot be over-emphasized.”
Passengers nationwide echoed their appreciation for the initiative. Miss Deborah, a passenger at the God is Good Motors (GIGM) Park in Ajah, Lagos, described the intervention as a “novel and pro-masses initiative” by any Federal Government in the country’s history. Displaying her receipt, she expressed excitement about the 50% discount received, thanking President Tinubu for the palliative.
Ebele, another passenger traveling from Mararaba, Abuja, to Edo, echoed the sentiment, calling it a “real palliative” and expressing gratitude for the refund of 50% of her fares. Similarly, Lucky, traveling from Mararaba, Abuja, to Owerri, Imo, recounted receiving a 50% discount, with N16,150 refunded, expressing appreciation for the government’s effort.
Train commuters also shared their positive experiences. A Twitter user @ayotem4real expressed gratitude for receiving two free train tickets from Lagos to Ibadan for their son and mum, thanking President Tinubu for the gesture. Commuters aboard the Idu train station in Abuja to Kaduna shared their satisfaction, emphasizing the smooth ride facilitated by the free service.
The overwhelmingly positive response reflects the tangible impact of the intervention on the lives of Nigerians during the festive season. Tomori reported that in just 48 hours since the commencement of the subsidized transport scheme, the implementation has been impressive across the country, promising further improvement in the coming days.
Dele Alake, Minister of Solid Minerals Development and Chairman of the Yuletide Transport Subsidy Inter-ministerial Committee, highlighted the initiative’s goal of uplifting five million commuters during the season. He recalled the challenges arising from fuel subsidy removal, leading to soaring transport fares and necessitating government palliatives.
The government’s collaboration with major transport companies like Good is Good (GIG) Motors, Chisco Transport, Young Shall Grow, God Bless Ezenwata, and Area Motor further enhances the initiative’s reach. With routes scaled up from 22 to 28, citizens traveling from Lagos to other states via minibuses from the Oshodi bus interchange are also beneficiaries.
Alake emphasized the impressive implementation of the subsidised transport scheme, underscoring its positive impact down to the grassroots. He noted that after the holidays, Nigerians can continue to benefit from discounted rates until January 4, 2024.
In conclusion, Alake reiterated the President’s unwavering commitment to the welfare of the people, stating that the intervention reflects a dedication to shared prosperity. The initiative not only provides tangible relief but sends a powerful message of government responsiveness and concern for the well-being of its citizens.