Christmas, New Year: Amid hardship, Tinubu approves 50% cut in transport fare nationwide, governors offer incentives, palliatives

It was a moment of respite for Nigerians Wednesday as President Bola Tinubu approved a 50 per cent cut in the interstate transport fare for those traveling during the yuletide, coveringThursday, December 21, 2023, to January 4, 2024.

Also, the president approved free rides for commuters on all train services within the period.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development Dele Alake announced this Wednesday to State House correspondents at the Aso Rock Villa Abuja.

Alake said: “It is in this wise that the President is announcing through us that beginning from tomorrow, December 21, Nigerians willing to travel can board public transport via mini buses, luxury buses at 50 per cent discount of current cost and all our train services on the route the trains currently serve at zero cost on their travels this holiday season.

“This special presidential intervention will commence tomorrow, Thursday, December 21 and it will end on January 4, 2024.

“The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Transportation, will be working with transporters, road transport unions, the Nigerian Railway Corporation to seamlessly deliver on this special presidential initiative.”

“I can tell you that all the relevant stakeholders in that industry have been discussed with or been engaged and all the parameters laid out and the Minister of Transportation has the full details and it’s on top of the game.

“In fact, the Presidents of the various transport unions have been met…and everything is in top shape in terms of execution,” the minister said.

On why the gesture was not extended to air travelers, Alake said: “The initiative is for the masses. Air is luxury. The masses don’t use air transport. So they are our main target.” 

NSCDC

In a related development, the FCT Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 4,000 personnel to ensure a peaceful and hitch-free celebrations.

Speaking at the Command headquarters Wednesday in Abuja, FCT Commandant Olusola Odumosu said a robust operational order covering the entire Federal Capital Territory had been released and being fully implemented.

He added that the Command’s Special Forces and various tactical units such as the Armed Squad, Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Rapid Response team, Special Female Squad, Agro Rangers unit, Anti-vandals Unit, Crisis and Disaster Management Unit, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosive Unit (CBRNE) and the Intelligence Unit, were all mobilised for this assignment.

According to him, the Command took this proactive step to ensure effective security coverage due to the influx of visitors to the FCT, which he said, may lead to increased social, economic and criminal activities during this period.

“The mission of this operation is to provide robust security for visitors, residents and the protection of Critical National Assets and public utilities in the FCT.

“While we expect the influx of visitors at this period, some residents may also travel out of the territory, leaving behind their houses, property and other belongings which are vulnerable to criminals, “Odumosu explained.

He assured that all operational and intelligence assets at the disposal of the Command had been fully deployed to cover strategic locations and soft targets like places of worship, recreational centres, markets, shopping malls, parks, gardens and suspected flash points.

Also Odumosu directed all the Area Commanders and Divisional Officers (DOs) across the six Area Councils to maintain 24-hour high visibility day and night patrols around all the nooks and crannies of the nation’s capital territory.

He expressed confidence that with the existing synergy and high sense of collaboration amongst various security agencies, peace and order shall be guaranteed and maintained during the yuletide in the FCT.

“There will be no laxness in carrying out our expected responsibilities of safeguarding lives, property and maintaining peace and order.

“I have directed my officers and men to be extra vigilant and to discharge their statutory responsibility with utmost diligence.

“I assure the FCT residents of the readiness of the Command to promptly respond to distress and emergency situation.

“I also encourage members of the public to report any suspicious movement and objects to the nearest security post as security is everyone’s business,” the commandant said.

He urged residents to be law-abiding, obey rules and regulations, be vigilant and above all, cooperate with law enforcement and safety agencies in the interest of peace and progress of the FCT and the nation as a whole.

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