In a bid to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, the Lagos State Government has slashed the fare for all state-owned transport systems by 50 per cent.
The government also pledged to distribute foodstuffs to the vulnerable in the state.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stressed that the state government was working towards rolling out these palliatives to lessen the pain that the removal of subsidy had brought on the citizens.
According to the governor, the 50 per cent slash in bus fare will take effect from August 2.
He added that modalities had also been put in place by the informal transportation sector, especially the yellow buses, to slash their charges by 25 per cent.
“We’ve had extensive conversations with all of the stakeholders in our transport system, both formal and informal modes of transportation, and we have come to a conclusion, which the state government will be supporting.
“Immediately from Wednesday, all public transportations that are being controlled by LAMATA, all of the high capacity buses, will be plying all the routes of Lagos at 50 per cent discount, and all commuters that will be plying these routes will start enjoying a 50 per cent rebate on the transport fares that are currently being charged on all of these routes,” the governor said.He added, “For the informal buses, they are also going to make a pronouncement today, and I can say to you that we have agreed with them that they will be doing about 25 per cent reduction on their buses – all of the yellow buses that we have on the streets.”
Sanwo-Olu also said more staff buses had been procured for workers of the state civil service to make commuting to and from work easier for them.
“Regarding all of the offices that we have as public offices under government, we’ve also concluded arrangements to increase the fleet of staff buses that we have and that will be used to convey our staff from their various offices to their various routes of residence,” the governor said.
He noted that some buses have been procured for this purpose, adding that others are still being supplied.
“So, we’re just waiting to get the right number before we make those distributions to the various arms of the public service,” he added.
Speaking on the distribution of foodstuffs to the vulnerable in the state, Sanwo-Olu said it would be distributed to the “very vulnerable in our state, the poorest of the poor” through interventions of various stakeholders including “civil society groups, CDCs and CDAs, and our various Churches and Mosques, out traditional rulers, our local governments.
“We will send around daily foodstuffs, rice, beans, garri, and all of the things that can cushion the effects of the current hardships that we have in the state.”
He stressed that all procurements of foodstuffs to be distributed would be done locally, “meaning that we need to reflate our purchases from our local markets where they can reap the benefits of these procurements and they can feel the immediate impact of the interventions that government will do.”
Sanwo-Olu added that the palliative interventions would continue “until when we see how far we could go with some of these interventions.”