Ibadan, – Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, on Wednesday approved deployment of additional 16 new luxury buses to Saki, Iseyin, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Ibarapa areas of the state to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal on the citizens.
Mr Gafar Bello, a member of the 15-man Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER), recently set up by the state government, made this known at the Pacesetter Transport Service (PTS) headquaters, Eleyele, Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bello was at the PTS headquarters for an on the spot-assessment to inspect the new buses ahead of their deployment.
Bello, who doubles as the chairman, sub-committee on transport services, was accompanied to the PTS office complex by other members of the sub committee, including the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr Ademola Babalola.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Kayode Martins, and a Director of Transport in the state, Mr Babatunde Olasunkanmi, were also on the inspection tour.
Speaking with newsmen, Bello said the new buses approved for deployment were in addition to the already 30 buses deployed about two weeks ago, for the same purpose within the state capital, Ibadan.
According to him, the total buses now captured under SAfER to cushion the effects of subsidy removal within Oyo state is now 46.
He expressed the commitment of the SAfER committee, headed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Segun Ogunwuyi, to the timely delivery of action plans conceptualised by the governor to cushion the effect of subsidy removal and make life worth living for the masses.
He said the committee on Transport “including those of food security; food palliatives; healthcare services and SMEs are working round the clock to make the plan of the governor a reality.
Bello further explained that Gov. Makinde approved the immediate deployment of 10 buses for inter-state movement of commuters from Saki, Iseyin, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Ibarapa areas to Ibadan at a very reduced price.
“Already, the residents of Ibadan are currently enjoying these new buses as movement from Iwo-road interchange to Orita-Challenge and those of Amuloko – Beere areas at very low charges.
“This has made many of the people benefitting from these gestures to appreciate the Gov. Makinde administration, as a number of our people now jettisoned their personal vehicles for these buses.
“The feedback we are getting has shown that our people are enjoying the intervention of His Excellency in the transportation sector.
“And this is why the governor, on Wednesday, approved immediate deployment of additional buses to commute residents traveling to and from Saki, Iseyin, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Ibarapa areas to Ibadan.
“Two buses each of the 56-seater and 40-seater vehicles have been deployed to each of these major towns. And it is also expected that by the middle of next week, additional six would be available for movements of passengers at short distances within these towns and environs,” Bello said.
He, therefore, sought for the support and cooperation of the people for the state government in its avowed commitments to ensure drastic reduction in poverty and mitigate the effects of subsidy removal amongst the citizenry. (NAN)