Yesterday, the Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON) officially verified that its members have initiated the complete enforcement of the 50 percent price reduction on the designated routes specified by the Federal Government for travelers during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Excitement also filled the air yesterday at the Mobolaji Johnson Train Station as hundreds of travellers began to take advantage of the free train service offered by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on the Lagos-Ibadan train routes for 15 days.
The luxury bus owners, who operate inter state bus service, said in a statement that the implementation of the discounted fare began on Thursday and will run through January 4,2024.
President Bola Tinubu approved the fare reduction to ease movement by Nigerians during the festive periods.
Security is being beefed up across the country by the agencies saddled with such responsibility.
President of ALBON, Mr.Nonso Ubajaka and the Secretary,Mr.Frank Nneji in the statement enjoined passengers travelling during this festive period to “take advantage of this magnanimous gesture of Mr President to alleviate their transportation cost to their various destinations during this festive period.”
They said 11,118 seats would be available per day for passengers during the duration of the exercise.
The operators are: Young Shall Grow Nig Ltd, Chisco Transport Ltd, Izuchukwu Transport Nig. Ltd, ABC Transport Plc, God Bless Ezewanta Nig. Ltd, SD Express Ltd, Welfare Transport Nig. Ltd, Ifesinachi Transport Nig. Ltd, E Ekeson Nig. Ltd., Ifeanyi Chukwu Industries & Commercial Ltd, Bonnyway Motor Ltd., Delta Express Ltd, and God Is Good Motors Ltd.
ALBON listed the available routes to include Lagos-Kano; Onisha-Abuja; Lagos-Abuja; Onisha-Sokoto; Lagos-Kaduda-Zaria; Onisha-Gombe; Lagos-Jos; Onisha- Zakibiam; Lagos-Enugu; Ph-Owerri-Aba-Kano; Lagos-Onisha; Aba-Owerri-Abj; Lagos Owerri; Aba-Lagos; Lagos-Aba; Abuja-Gombe; Lagos-Abakaliki; Abuja-Lagos; Lagos-Nsuka; Abuja-Enugu,Abakaliki; Lagos-Uyo; Abuja-Onisha-Aba; Lagos-Ph; Abuja-Ph.
Others are Onisha-Kano; Abuja-Kano; Onisha-Lagos; Abuja-Sokoto; Onisha-Jos; Abuja-Maidugiri.
The statement said, “All intending passengers on the above listed are requested to go to our members’ various bus stations nationwide to book and board our buses on payment of only 50% (half the price) of the prevailing or current bus fare during the period on the principle of “First Come, First Served Basis” on the daily basis during the period.
“The Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria once again commends and salutes the Federal Government of Nigeria under the listening and responsive leadership of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu for this great package for the traveling masses. We also thank the Honourable Minister of Transportation Senator Ahmed Saad Alkali for his unrelenting efforts in ensuring that Mr. President magnanimous gesture for the traveling masses during this festive period is fully implemented.
“This indeed is the dawn of the RENEWED HOPE for us in the Luxury Bus industry and our numerous passengers nationwide.”
Excitement as passengers enjoy free train service for Lagos-Ibadan rail
Scores of passengers were seen yesterday at the departure terminal of the Mobolaji Johnson Train Station in Lagos awaiting the arrival of the evening train which was scheduled to leave for Ibadan at 4pm.
District Manager for Lagos, NRC, Augustine Arisa told The Nation that tickets would not be issued at the train station, and no commuter would be allowed to board without a ticket.
He explained that passengers would enjoy the free train service in the morning (8:00am) and in the evening (4:00pm).
A passenger, Bisi Akanni expressed joy over the free train service. She commended the Federal Government for the laudable initiative.
She said: “I thought the directive won’t be implemented, when I booked for my ticket, I got it online and it was seamless. I arrived here, and no one asked me to pay anything. Kudos to the Federal Government for this.”
Another passenger, Segun Adekanmbi who spoke to The Nation, thanked President Tinubu for easing the burden off Nigerians during the yuletide.
He said: “This is a great initiative by the Federal Government, and I think it is going to be beneficial to the citizens. It will go a long way to relief many passengers”
Enugu passengers reschedule travel to benefit from rebate
Some passengers who had planned to travel from Enugu yesterday had to reschedule their trips to today to enable them benefit from the transport rebate, according to an investigation.
It was gathered that the transport companies approved for the discounted fares would go full blast in the state today.
Passengers who had trooped to the approved lots of some of the companies were told to come back today.
One of such passengers who identified himself as Ibrahim Bagos, said he had expected to pay half of N28,700 from Enugu to Abuja, but was told that the programme would commence the next day.
“I am traveling to Abuja en-route Jos. So, since we’re going to have a long holiday, I decided to leave this morning (yesterday).
“However, on getting to the park they told me that I would have to pay the full N28,700 to get to Abuja today (yesterday) and that, if I want to enjoy Tinubu’s transport rebate, I would have to wait till tomorrow being Saturday because that is when they would start it.
“I considered it. That’s why I’m not travelling again today. I will travel tomorrow. That means I will have to make my payment now so that by tomorrow I will come over and move with them.”
Bagos commended President Tinubu for initiating the programme, saying it would save many families the trouble of not travelling home for Christmas.
At The Young Shall Grow Motors, Enugu, passengers were seen booking ahead for Saturday (today) to enable them participate in the scheme.
The situation was the same in Aba, Abia State.
Investigation at the major bus terminals in Aba showed that the companies operating there still charged the old fares of between ₦18,500 to ₦22,500 for Aba-Lagos and Aba-Abuja.
IGP meets tactical commanders, orders tight security nationwide for yuletide
Police Inspector General Kayode Egbetokun yesterday met with Tactical Commanders, including Commanders of the Police Mobile Force, Border Patrol Force, Safer Highway in Abuja as Nigerians prepared for the Christmas festivities.
He directed all Commissioners of Police and Tactical Commanders to deploy adequate personnel and resources throughout the length and breadth of the country including recreational and picnic centres.
The objective is to protect fun seekers during the festivities.
He wished Nigerians a merry Christmas and a happy new year.