Not less than 1,572,000 Edo citizens have been projected to benefit from the Free Bus Ride Scheme by the Edo State Government, which is part of the palliative programme to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal policy by the Federal Government.
Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Hon. Chris Nehikhare, made this known while addressing journalists at the Ministry’s Conference Room, at the State Secretariat along Sapele Road, Benin City.
Nehikhare said in the next two months, 1,494,000 citizens will benefit from the free intra-city bus ride while 33,000 will benefit from the free inter-city bus ride, bringing the total beneficiaries from the bus palliative, which flagged-off on September 11, to 1,527,000.
He noted that since the removal of fuel subsidy, the cost of living has gone high and life has become difficult for Nigerians, adding, “The free bus ride initiated by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has reduced the suffering of Edo people. Spending on transportation has reduced.
“This free bus ride has become popular among Edo people. It is helping them save their transport money since the service commenced on the 11th of this month. In the next two months, we would have 1,494,000 passengers within Benin City, while 33,000 will benefit from the inter-city. In total, 1,527,000 Edo people will benefit directly from the free bus scheme.
“We are pleased by the appreciation we have received from Edo people since the programme commenced.”
The Commissioner said the State Government is still collating data of the poorest of the poor in the State to populate its social register, which is also being revalidated to ensure that no one within the designated bracket is left out of it.
He added that the distribution will be devoid of politics as it will go directly to those captured during the data collection exercise.