No fewer than 128 travellers from Abuja bound for different destinations in the northern part of the country on Monday enjoyed the implementation of President Bola Tinubu’s directive on 50% discount on transport fares for Nigerians during the yuletide.
The travellers, who were freighted to their destinations, paid only half of the transport fares charged for each of their destinations, as monitored by the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMT) Situation Room Monitoring Team on Christmas Day.
The North-bound travellers got immediate reimbursement of 50% of the transport fares paid upon boarding their vehicles from the Chairman of the Association of Luxury Bus Owners (ALBON) 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 that conveyed the travellers took off on Christmas day.
According to a statement by Olujimi Oyetomi, on the routes to the north, which were mostly serviced by low-capacity vehicles, ALBON has initiated a work arrangement with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), FCT Chapter, for high-capacity luxury vehicles to service the routes.
The statement said ALBON also made a promise to publicize venues for boarding the vehicles where travellers could be reimbursed 50% of the fares paid.
“Starting as early as 5 a.m. on Christmas Day, four (4 Nos) 16-seater buses began loading, with their passengers given back half of the fares paid and dispatched to Gombe from Area 1 Park in Abuja. One 16-seater bus was loaded with travellers who also got President Bola Tinubu’s 0% discount and dispatched for Bauchi. Additional loaded and headed for Yola, while yet another loaded and headed for Maiduguri.
“The last 16-seater travellers bus, which loaded, got its passengers refunded, half of the transport fares paid back to them, and headed for Bauchi and Maiduguri, rounded off the operation at Area 1 Motor Park, Abuja. Thus, eight (8) buses loaded with 16 passengers each, totaling 128 (one hundred and twenty-eight) cheerful Nigerians, got refunded half of the 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 Tinubu, 4 plus 4”, even when the intention of President Bola Tinubu in directing the transport palliative wasn’t towards a political end but to renew hopes for a better Nigeria,” the statement noted.