50% Transport Fare Cut Not Well Implemented -Obi

Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 General Electron, Mr. Peter Obi has disclosed that the 50 percent transport fare reduction announced by the Federal Government was commendable, but without any forms of checks and balances to ensure that the transporters follow the terms of the contract.

Mr. Obi who wrote on his official X handle on Friday revealed that although with good intentions, the policy had not been well implemented, as the transporters denied being aware of the 50% discount.

He said, “following the government’s announcement of a 50% discount on interstate transport fare for Nigerians, I have taken time to inquire into the implementation mechanics across different cities but I have been disappointed.

“Today, I sent out contacts who consulted widely with the transporters in major parks across the country: in Abuja, they carried out an on-the-spot investigation in Jabi/Utako areas; in Lagos, they visited major parks like Jibowu, Festac, Mile 12, Ajah, and Mazamaza and none of the transporters in these parks was aware of this 50% discount.

“At Upper Iweka, Onitsha, which is the main traffic hub in Anambra, and in other parts of the country like; Kano, Aba, Kaduna, Owerri, and Gombe, the story is the same.

‘The government has again announced the few transport companies chosen to participate in the intervention for which 28 Routes have been designated. There are no announced forms of checks and balances to ensure that the transporters follow the terms of the contract.

“There are obvious questions on the integrity of this intervention effort. One expects that such a policy that strives to appeal to the broad masses, especially the downtrodden, deliberate and concrete arrangements should be made, with transport companies.

“I pray that this is not yet another spin to curry favour in the media space after appetizing the people. The Nigerian people are going through untold hardship and the government must not remain insensitive to their sufferings.

“Compassion on the part of government is a good thing, but it should not be an avenue for exploiting the weak structures of government to encourage less than transparent policy implementation”, he wrote on his X account.

The former governor of Anambra state also stated that the policy was announced very late as millions of people have already traveled bearing the brunt and huge costs of such travels. “How will such people get their refunds or be compensated?”, he questioned.

He also asked if there was a sustainability plan in place by the government to ensure continuity.

“The high cost of transportation and associated hardships are all well known. The question this seasonal palliative raises is that of what happens after the festive season. Is there a sustainable policy measure to cushion the masses from the current high transportation costs? Even the current effort comes with operational challenges”, he said.

Obi, however, commended the President for the policy, adding that if fully implemented, it would ameliorate the suffering of the masses.

“If fully implemented, as reported, I consider this first-time intervention of the government, intended to help the masses, a step in the right direction. However, the major concern about such emergency measures is what follows afterwards”, he noted.

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