The Committee overseeing President Bola Tinubu’s End-of-Year Transportation Subsidy Programme disclosed that more than 160,000 passengers have already reaped its benefits. Dr. Dele Alake, the Chairman of the committee and Minister of Solid Minerals Resources, provided this update in a progress report issued in Lagos.
President Tinubu’s initiative, approved on Dec. 19, facilitated free transportation on Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) routes and granted a 50% subsidy on travel fares for 30 routes serviced by the Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON).
Assessing the scheme’s impact, Alake praised its success, citing the substantial number of passengers benefiting from the transportation rebate. He highlighted President Tinubu’s empathy for Nigerians, calling the initiative a demonstration of his care for the populace.
The reported figures showcased significant usage of the subsidised transport services. The NRC conveyed 71,000 passengers, ALBON-operated buses carried 77,122 passengers, and 652 bus trips from Oshodi Interchange transported 15,766 passengers between Dec. 21 and Dec. 31, 2023.
Alake emphasised that 163,878 passengers benefited from the Presidential Yuletide Transportation Subsidy within the first ten days. He outlined the savings passengers made, ranging from N21,500 on a Lagos-Abuja road trip fare to N15,000 on a Lagos-Onitsha bus fare.
This initiative aimed to alleviate the financial burden on citizens, particularly amid economic challenges exacerbated by the global pandemic and internal factors. To address identified gaps, the committee expanded routes and engaged additional bus-owning stakeholders, including the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other transport associations.
As the programme continues, Alake urged cooperation from passengers and bus companies, stressing the need for orderly return trips. He advised travellers to initiate their return journeys early to secure seats and encouraged bus companies to uphold integrity by applying the subsidy and ensuring adequate vehicle availability.
Additionally, the committee pledged continuous monitoring and intervention when necessary, assuring passengers of security agency support for hassle-free travel experiences at parks.