Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara has formally flagged off a free transport intervention scheme to mitigate the economic challenges faced by residents of the state as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy.
Speaking during the flag-off at the Rivers State Transport Company Complex in Port Harcourt, Governor Fubara said the State Government under his watch was aware and concerned by the difficulties the fuel subsidy removal has caused the populace, which necessitated the decision to initiate the intervention.
The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Professor Ngozi Odu, noted that the introduction of the Free Transport Scheme was in line with the social contract his administration has with the Rivers people who gave them the mandate to serve.
She said, “I am indeed very delighted to perform the flag-off ceremony of the Rivers State Government mass transit scheme.
“The Rivers State Government is aware and concerned about the economic challenges faced by the populace as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy.
“Consequently, this scheme flagged off today, is a deliberate intervention by the Rivers State Government, to mitigate the effect of these economic challenges.
“Therefore, it is a gift given to us, and we must treasure it,” She added.
In his remark, the State Commissioner for Transport, Jacobson Nbina who commended Governor Fubara, said seventeen luxury buses, designated to ply various routes will carry people free of cost.
“This free transportation is not only for civil servants, it is also for students and other Rivers people.
“This project is going to have a multiple effect on the people of Rivers State.
“We are going to use free buses, it’s going to create job opportunities for our people.
“Drivers will be employed, conductors will be employed, and other people that will maintain the car will be employed.
“So, it’s an additional employment opportunity that His Excellency has created for the people of Rivers State.”
The Head of Service, George Nwaeke who also spoke at the event, expressed delight that the Governor has fulfilled the promise he made to labour leaders who visited him a few weeks ago.
Nwaeke assured the governor that his office will collaborate with the transport ministry to ensure the smooth operation of the scheme.