The Edo State government on Monday inaugurated its free transport scheme to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.
Speaking at the inauguration, Governor 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.
Mr Obaseki was represented by the state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, on Monday in Benin.
The governor 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 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. daily.
On her part, the managing director, Edo State Transport Authority, Edugie Agbonlahor, said though ECTC has been offering free bus rides to primary and secondary school pupils, Mr Obaseki has now extended it to accommodate everybody to alleviate the hardship caused by fuel subsidy removal.
“Transportation has always consumed 50 per cent of parents’ 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,” she said.
A beneficiary of the free transport scheme, Osarubo Obayuwana, who lives in Oko Central, said she used to spend an average of N800 daily on transportation.
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.