Ondo State has launched its free bus ride scheme for pupils in the state.
Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said the scheme would begin with 10 buses , each having 69 seats , as pilot scheme in the state capital, Akure. According to him, the buses will convey pupils to and from the nearest bus stops to their various schools twice daily between 6.30am and 8.30 am and 1.30pm to 5.30pm.
Akinmade disclosed that, “The free shuttle buses for students in the state are one of the measures put in place by the state government to cushion the effect of the oil subsidy removal on residents in the state.”
Commissioner for Transportation, Mr.Nicholas Tofowomo, said only pupils in uniform would be allowed to board the buses. Civil servants and other government officials would not be allowed to board or hire the buses for domestic purposes.
The Commissioner explained that the Ministry of Education has been mandated to coordinate that aspect of the programme.
Students in Ondo State are to enjoy free shuttle to and from schools. The State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko gave the cheering news while inaugurating 290 buses and taxis procured by the state government in Akure on Wednesday.
Mimiko, who stated that every school students in uniform will be entitled to free bus ride to and from school, said that the initiative will start in Akure the state capital as a pilot scheme.
He also stated that his administration is partnering with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Ondo State Chapter to give out the 200 intra-city taxis and 90 inter-city buses at subsidized rates in order to control the cost of transportation in the state.
He said: “these vehicles will be provided at a subsidized rate so that the cost of transportation can be controlled. This is one of the steps that we are taking to ameliorate the harsh effect of subsidy removal on our people.
“Like I have promised our people that this government will work for them, we will continue to explore ways to ensure that this government attends to their everyday concern. We shall continue to take steps to ensure that poverty becomes a thing of the past in Ondo state, our commitment is equivocal and it is total.” Mimiko stated.