Some travellers in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have commended the Federal Government for granting a 50 per cent discount on their fare tickets to various destinations within the country.
They made the commendation in separate interviews on Sunday.
Earlier, President Bola Tinubu approved the commencement of the 50 per cent discount of the ticket fare by road, effective from December 24, 2023, to January 4, 2024.
A Lawyer, Mr Dapo Esan, who booked at ABC Transport office for a trip by luxurious bus from Abuja to Lagos, commended the federal government for paying half of his bill.
According to him, the message came shortly, as if it would not happen, but it is real and commendable.
“Normal fare is N35,000 to Lagos, but they collected 17,500, which is 50 per cent of it. So, that is something good for us. I have already gotten my ticket and secured my seat.
“This is one of the promises in recent times that would be made by the government which we are seeing being fulfilled. Whether it is going to be 100 per cent fulfilled or not we don’t know.
“But, at least, as it stands, I see it as a good step in the right direction toward alleviating hardship that people are going through now in the country.”
He urged the private sector to keep partnering with the government in providing succour to the masses in the country.
“Pronouncement was made a few days ago and it is already being implemented. All the bottlenecks have been taken care of. So, it is good.
“It is capable of restoring the confidence of the people back in the ability of the government for the capacity of the government to work the talks.
“What we can say about the private sector regarding this project now is there is a kind of mutual trust between the private sector and the government, as a kind of synergy,” he said.
A Corps member, Ms Sylverline Alakwem, serving in Abuja travelling to Owerri, also thanked the federal government for using the 50 per cent to cushion the effect of the high cost of transportation on Nigerians.
“I am travelling home for Christmas. Initially, I thought it was not true. Surprisingly, when I got to the ABC Transport counter, they said I had a rebate. I have half of my money back.
“So, I am happy, I am very grateful to the government. The federal government should keep it up. It is really helpful. I really appreciate it.
“As I am going now, I am going to tell my friends who wanted to travel but were discouraged because of the high cost of the fare,” she said.
Alakwem, however, appealed to the drivers to drive gently and ensure their vehicles were well-serviced to avoid a breakdown on the roads.
The Manager of ABC Transport, Utako Abuja, Mr Kanayo Friday, also commended the implementation of the government policy to cut off half of the ticket fare for passengers.
“Now we are giving a 50 per cent discount at the point of booking. People are very happy. They did not believe the information initially. Some said it is impossible, but as it stands now, they are now beginning to believe.
“This is a welcome development. We pray they sustain it for the period they promised the masses. We say thank you to them. We are happy that passengers are happy now to travel,” he said.
Nevertheless, some other transport unions said they were still collecting the full amount from the passengers as the federal government was yet to make a 50 per cent discount arrangement with them.
The Acting FCT Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr Ismail Abubakar, told NAN that the federal government had a meeting with the union and promised to involve the union.
According to him, the federal government is yet to perfect the arrangement with the union.
Bonny Way Ticket Officer, Mr Afolabi Wale, said that the federal government was yet to inform the company about its plan for the masses regarding the 50 per cent rebate.
He said the passengers were still paying full fares to their various destinations.
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