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.
Governor Fubara charged operators of the buses to be committed and show due diligence to duties, while calling on the public who are the end users of the free transport intervention scheme to see it as a gift and treasure it.
Also, the State Commissioner for Transport, Dr. Jacobson Nbina, who commended Governor Fubara for the gesture towards the people of the State, said 17 luxury buses which are designated to ply various routes will carry people free of charge.
The Rivers State Head of Service, Dr. George Nwaeke expressed delight that the Governor has fulfilled the promise he made to labour leaders who visited him a few weeks ago, stressing that his office will collaborate with the transport ministry to ensure the smooth operation of the scheme.
Earlier the Chairman, Joint Negotiating Public Service Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comr. Emecheta Chuku, thanked the Governor for the honour done to the workers of the state, noting that the free transport scheme will not only cushion the effect of the subsidy removal but provide employment for Rivers people.