Nigeria offers free train rides, cuts bus fares for holidays

Nigeria offers free train rides, cuts bus fares for holidays
The move is aimed at easing costly holiday travels, authorities say

The Nigerian government has offered free train rides and slashed by 50% public bus fares across the country during the festive season, in a bid to ease the financial strain associated with holiday travels.

The move announced on Wednesday is to allow domestic travellers to visit their loved ones and hometowns "without stress and the extra burden imposed by the high cost of transport around this period," Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, said at a press briefing.

According to Mr Alake, who is also head of the inter-ministerial committee on presidential intervention, the discount on inter-state fares and free train rides will take effect from Thursday to 4 January.

The deal, already okayed by President Bola Tinubu,was arrived at in conjunction with companies operating luxury buses across 22 routes nationwide, according to Mr Alake.

He said air transportation was not part of the arrangement because the target of the president “is the masses”.

Transport Minister Sa'idu Alkali said the substantial reduction in bus fares and the free train rides would ensure "every Nigerian can partake in the joy of the season without the burden of exorbitant transportation costs".

Segun Falade, the spokesperson for the National Union of Road Transport Workers, said the bus operators would start effecting the fare subsidy as agreed, local media reported.

December is normally the busiest month for travel in Nigeria, recording the highest number of air, road transport, and railway passengers.

Source: BBC 

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