Tinubu’s government extends transport palliative to 128 non-luxury bus passengers in Abuja

The Federal Government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has extended its 50% transportation rebate palliative on Monday, December 25, as 128 road transport passengers on northern routs received the refund of 50% of their fares from one of the groups monitoring the implementation.

Federal government had last week announced the transportation rebate as part of President Bola Tinubu administration’s ways of intervening and relieving Nigerians of the current harsh economic realities, especially as many would have to travel to different parts of the country to celebrate Christmas and New Year festivities with loved ones.

The palliative, which saw road transport cutting back 50% of regular fares and zero cost for train services, where they operate in the country, however strictly clarified that road transport rebate would be applicable to 28 luxury bus service routs nationwide.

However, a statement issued on Monday by Director of Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Olujimi Oyetomi, the Association of Luxury Bus Owners (ALBON) extended part of its mandate to passengers traveling with National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), returning 50% of their fares to them.

“Implementing the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for 50% discount on transport fares for Nigerians during the yuletide got a serious boost especially as 128 (One Hundred and Twenty-Eight travellers from Abuja, but bound for destinations in the North – Gombe, Bauchi, Yola and Maiduguri were freighted to their destinations paying only half of the transport fares charged for each of their destinations, as monitored by Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMT) Situation Room Monitoring Team on Christmas Day, 25th of December, 2023.

The northbound passengers got immediate reimbursement of 50% of the transport fares paid upon boarding their vehicles, by the Chairman of the Association of Luxury Bus Owners (ALBON)’s Task Force on the Implementation of the discount, Chief Clement Okuefuna who personally conducted the disbursement in cash at the Area 1 Motor Park from where most of the buses which conveyed the passengers took off on Christmas day, 25th of December, 2023.

Since the routes to the north were mostly serviced by low-capacity vehicles as opposed to high-capacity luxury vehicles, ALBON has initiated a work arrangement with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), FCT Chapter to service the routes. ALBON also made good its promise to publicise venues for boarding the vehicles where passengers could be reimbursed 50% of the fares paid.

“Starting from as early as 5 am on Christmas Day, four (4 Nos) 16-seater capacity buses began loading, their passengers given back half of the fares paid and despatched to Gombe from Area 1 Park in Abuja. One 16-seater capacity bus was loaded with travellers who also got the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s discount of 50% and despatched for Bauchi. Additional loaded and headed for Yola while yet another loaded and headed for Maiduguri.

“The last 16-seater passenger bus which loaded, got its passenger refunded half of the transport fares paid back to them and heading for Bauchi and Maiduguri rounded off the operation at Area 1 Motor Park, Abuja. Thus, eight (8) buses loaded with 16 passengers each, totalling 128 (One Hundred and Twenty-Eight cheerful Nigerians got refunded half of transport fares they paid, courtesy of the directive and provisions made for the special period of Christmas (2023) and New Year (palliative ending on January, 4th, 2024).

“It was therefore no wonder to hear the politically conscious northern Nigerians cheering and chanting “Jagaban, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, 4 plus 4”, even when the intention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR in directing the transport palliative wasn’t towards a political end, but to renew hopes for a better Nigeria.