*Declares zero cost for rail travels
*Tasks police, DSS, military on crime-free celebration
By KEMI KASUMU
“What this means is that from tomorrow (today Thursday), Nigerians willing to travel can board public transport via luxury buses at a 50% discount of current cost…”
The Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government says it has slashed public transport fares for Nigerians by 50 percent with effect from Thursday December 21, 2023 to last till January 4, 2024.
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Alake, disclosed this during a press conference held in Abuja, on the presidential intervention in public transportation to celebrate the Yuletide season.
According to Alake, “It is in this wise that the Federal Government is announcing, beginning from tomorrow (today Thursday), a special discounted holiday season fare on road transport and zero-fare by rail across Nigeria.
“What this means is that from tomorrow (Thursday), Nigerians willing to travel can board public transport via luxury buses at a 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.”
However, the minister said air travel was excluded from the initiative because the initiative is targeted at the masses.
He noted that President Bola Tinubu approved of the gesture in the demonstration of his love for Nigerians, adding that the move allows Nigerians 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.
Alake stated that President Tinubu has directed the police, Department of State Services (DSS), 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.
“While we wish all Nigerians a great holiday season, we implore everyone to be law-abiding, be security conscious, be our brother’s keepers, and extend every goodwill to our families, friends and neighbours.
“While we celebrate and enjoy all the social activities that come with the season, let us also remember to celebrate in moderation,” he stated.
In the meantime, The DEFENDER’s enquiry to the Minister for more information about the slashes was yet to be responded to as at the time of filing this report Thursday morning.
The enquiry was to know whether the 15-day largesse is to be enjoyed only by passengers of luxury buses and, if yes, whether the government has any particular arrangement with the luxury buses companies to achieve the fare slashes.
Currently, diesel used by luxury buses is sold at over N1,000 per litre and, if the companies are being assisted to deliver over the seasonal presidential directive on fare slashes, it means only passengers who are able to access travel by luxury buses will benefit.