Palliatives: Edo Govt Flags Off Free Transport Scheme for Residence

•NACCIMA hails Obaseki’s reforms to transform Edo into Nigeria’s petrochemical hub

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

In a bid to cushion the effects of petrol subsidy removal by the federal government, Edo State Government yesterday, flagged off it’s free transport scheme for residents of the state.

Obaseki had approved free transport service for passengers on all routes operated by the state-owned Edo City Transport Ltd (ECTS)

The service which spans an initial two-month period would cover both intra-city and inter-city transportation within Benin metropolis and from Benin City to the major cities in the three senatorial districts.

Speaking at the flagging off ceremony at the ECTS park, Ring Road, Obaseki, represented by the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, implored Edo people to use the free buses regularly as it was designed by the state government to help them get over the hardship caused by the fuel subsidy removal.

“The Edo State Government takes the welfare of Edo people seriously and this is just one of the many ways we intend to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal for our people.

“The scheme has started since morning and people are already enjoying it. We want Edo people to use the bus regularly,” he said.

Earlier, the Managing Director of the Edo State Transport Authority, Mrs. Edugie Agbonlahor, said, though ECTC had been offering free bus ride for primary and secondary school pupils in the past, it planned to extend it to accommodate everybody in order to alleviate the hardship caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.

According to her, “We know that before now transportation has always consumed 50 per cent of budgets of parents. So, the gesture is to help so that they can channel this money to some of their other needs such as feeding, housing, especially this time in particular, when our children are resuming and we know the burden on parents during the first term.

“So, this is His Excellency’s intervention that at this time, parents can have a refund of their transport cost to enable them take other responsibilities.

“We are aware that ECTS has always given free ride to school children, but it’s no longer for school children but for all Edo people.”

A beneficiary of the free transport scheme, Mrs. Osarubo Obayuwana, who lives in Oko Central and spends an average of N800 daily on transportation was elated over the gesture by the Edo State Government as she said, “I am happy seeing the new arrangements by the Edo State Government, I want to beg the government to sustain the scheme because people are really suffering.”

The transport scheme is expected to cover intra-city and intercity routes including Auchi – Igalrra – Ibillo–Ososo; Uzebba–Ikhin – Otuo, and Abudu-Ubiaja, Abudu-Urhonigbe and Ewohirin to Ewatto.

In the meantime, the National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Kelvin Oye, has lauded Obaseki for his administration’s progressive economic reforms which according to him had transformed the state into Nigeria’s petrochemical hub with two operational modular refineries.

The two modular refineries in the state have continued to wax strong, with both now having a standing order of 300,000 barrels of crude from the Oza oil field.

Decklar Resources Inc and its co-venturer Millenium Oil & Gas Company Limited, which operate the Oza oil field, confirmed that aside from the 200,000 barrels of crude ordered by the Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited, Duport Midstream Company Limited has placed an order of 100,000 barrels of crude from the field. The products from the modular refineries in Edo State include diesel, low-pour fuel, and naphtha.

In a statement yesterday, the NACCIMA boss said Edo State had also been experiencing an influx of investments into various sectors of the state’s economy, which was a testament to the favourable business environment created by Governor Obaseki.

Oye said, “The NACCIMA has lauded the progressive economic reforms introduced by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State. The initiatives aimed at transforming the state into a petrochemical hub have yielded positive results, with the two modular refineries in the state making standing orders of 300,000 barrels of crude from the Oza oil field. This is in addition to the 100,000 barrels ordered by Duport Midstream Company Limited.

“The products from these modular refineries include diesel, low-pour fuel, and naphtha, which provide an avenue for revenue generation for the state.”

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