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Fuel subsidy removal: Edo govt. begins free transport service



The Edo State Government on Monday inaugurated its free transport scheme to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal in the state.

Speaking at the inauguration, Gov. Godwin Obaseki urged residents to use the Edo City Transport Ltd (ECTS) free buses regularly as it was designed to help them get over the hardship caused by the fuel subsidy removal.

Obaseki was represented by the State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, on Monday in Benin.

Recall that Obaseki recently approved free transport service for passengers on all routes operated by the state-owned ECTS.

The service, which spans an initial two-month period, covers commuting within the Benin metropolis and other major towns in the three senatorial districts. The buses will run between 6.30 am and 7 pm daily.

According to Nehikhare, “The State Government takes the welfare of the residents seriously and this is just one of the many ways we intend to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal for Edo people.

“The service started this morning and people should seize this opportunity provided by the government and enjoy it.”

On her part, the Managing Director, Edo State Transport Authority, Mrs Edugie Agbonlahor, said though ECTC has been offering free bus rides to primary and secondary school pupils, Obaseki has now extended it to accommodate every body in order to alleviate the hardship caused by fuel subsidy removal.

“Transportation has always consumed 50 per cent of budgets of parents. So, the gesture is to help so that they can channel this money to some other needs such as feeding and housing.

“It also comes handy, particularly this time when our children are resuming and we know the burden on parents during the first term.

“So, this is His Excellency’s intervention that at this time, parents can have a refund of their transport cost to enable them take on other responsibilities.

“We are aware that the ECTS has always given free ride to school children, but it’s no longer for school children alone but for all Edo people,” she said.

A beneficiary of the free transport scheme, Mrs Osarubo Obayuwana, who lives in Oko Central, said that she used to spend an average of N800 daily on transportation.

She said: “I am happy and elated seeing the new arrangements by the Edo State Government, I want to beg the government to sustain the service because people are really suffering.”

The transport service is expected to cover intra-city and intercity routes, including Auchi-Igalla-Ibillo-Ososo; Uzebba-Ikhin-Otuo, and Abudu-Ubiaja, Abudu-Urhonigbe and Ewohirin to Ewatto.

The intra-city routes are Ramat–Kings’ Square; New Benin–King’s square; King’s square – Ekenwan Road; King’s Square–Airport Road; King’s Square–Sapele Road and King’s square – Adesuwa.

Others are King’s Square–Ogida; New Benin–Upper Mission; King’s Square–Ugbowo; King’s square–Agbor Road; King’s square–Upper Sokponba; New Benin–Ugbowo and New Benin–Aduwawa.

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Imelda Osayande

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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