Some state governments in Nigeria, following President Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidy, are taking steps to lessen the impact on their people. The removal of fuel subsidy has led to a hike in fuel prices, which in turn affects the prices of other commodities and services. Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states have implemented measures to address the increase in transportation costs caused by the removal of subsidy. This includes providing cheap transport fares and offering free rides to farmers. Additionally, the Adamawa state government plans to purchase shuttle buses at a subsidized rate and provide a monthly subsidy to workers and pensioners. Yobe state is still working on developing modalities to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.
Following President Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidy, some state governments have taken steps to cushion the hard effects on their people.
President Tinubu had on June 12 during his Inauguration, declared that his administration would not patronize fuel subsidy as an obligation to Nigerians.
The Presidents’ announcement immediately caused an outrage across various quarters as petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) began to hike in price.
This has paved a way for untold hardship in the country as a hike in fuel pump price affects the price of almost every other commodity and even services in the market.
A good representation would be the cost of transportation since commercial drivers suffer the direct effects of a high cost of fuel pump price. In the black market, the cost of PMS is simply outrageous!
As a result, traders at the market equally project the cost of their goods due to the high cost of transportation which they have spent in transporting their goods to the market.
This little representation justifies claims that majority of Nigerians (if not all) are either directly or indirectly affected by the hike in fuel price which consequently, affects other sectors of the community.
The sad truth remains that, while the cost of living skyrockets, salaries and wages of workers remain unchanged.
In the wake of the crisis, the governments of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states have started taking steps to contain the hike in transportation caused by the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
The state governments, which operate state-owned transport companies, have made efforts by ensuring that their fares remain the cheapest amongst other transport companies in their respective states.
Babagana Zulum, the Borno State Governor, in addition to cheap transport fares, recently approved the release of 50 buses to address the situation.
His Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Mallam Isa Gusau in a recent statement revealed that the buses will be added to the fleet of the state-owned transport company, Borno Express Corporation.
Gusau told newsmen that 30 vans were also provided to provide farmers, particularly those residing inside Maiduguri, free rides to the outskirts of the state capital where their farmlands are located.
A University of Maiduguri student, Mustapha Abdullahi, and a government worker, Ali Modu who patronized government buses picking passengers at N50 per drop, lauded the government for the intervention.
“I patronize Borno Express buses every day, paying N50 from Post Office to the University of Maiduguri as against N150 being collected by taxis and tricyclists,” Abdullahi said.
Similarly, in Adamawa state, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri has put in place, a special committee to help address the issue of high cost of transportation while seeking means to cushion the effects of subsidy removal on the populace.
The committee, chaired by the governor’s Chief of Staff, Dr Amos Edgar, will be responsible for finding significant solutions to the plight of the people of the state as Dr Amos in a recent development, revealed the Adamawa state Government’s plan to purchase shuttle buses for workers and inter-local government transportation at a subsidized rate.
He said the government would also approve a N10,000 monthly subsidy for all workers and pensioners.
On his part, the Director, Transport, Adamawa Ministry of Transport, Mr Labaran Salisu said that some of the 250 partially leased vehicles in the ministry’s custody for inter-state services, would be deployed for town service at subsidized rate.
Meanwhile, the Yobe State Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Mohammed Goje has said the state government is still brainstorming to put up modalities that would help cushion the effects of subsidy removal on the people of the state.
Dr Goje said the government intends to provide free transport to students and civil servants but plans are still underway.
“Very soon the state government will provide buses for free transportation for civil servants and students,” He said.