PBAT’s 50%Discount on T-Fare: Greatest number of Nigerians benefit from palliative since inception but discontent from non-beneficiaries

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By Palma Ileye

According to reports from Transportation Palliatives, Monitoring Situation Room, perhaps the greatest numbers of beneficiaries of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 50%Discount Palliative for travelling Nigerians during the Yuletide from the Jabi Motor Park was recorded on 27th December, 2023 with 27 passengers who got paid a discount of 50% of the fares.

The report issued by Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Transportation revealed that they were conveyed by Adamawa Express to Yola from its Jabi Park in two 18-passenger seater buses with additional 36 beneficiaries heading to Katsina from the same park, same day via two Katsina State Transport Authority, KSTA; 54 heading to Maiduguri on the same date and from the same park through Borno Express were also monitored to have half of the fares paid back to them upon boarding.

The statement disclosed that further, 36 passengers travelling with two Sokoto Transport Authority from the same Jabi Park on 27th December, 2023 as well as 18 Kano-bound passengers who travelled via Kano Line, just like seven passengers who travelled to destinations of Offa and Ilorin with Kwara Express buses on same date, were monitored to be among beneficiaries of the 50%discount on the transport fares paid.

“In all for the day, One Hundred and Seventy-Eight (178) which represented the highest figure recorded of 50% discount benefiting passengers who took off Jabi Motor Park since the monitoring of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMT) began on the 22nd of December, 2023 to monitor the implementation of the project as done by the Association of Luxury Bus Owners (ALBON) working alliance with some transport companies in Abuja.

“The above situation reports when escalated to the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Ahmed Alkali made him to reveal the desire of the Federal Government to implement similar plans to assist Nigerians who would be returning from the Christmas celebrations to benefit from 50%T-fareDiscount Palliative in the same way they did.

“The brainstorming session that followed the directive of the Minister necessitated another round of planning meetings held between the FMT and ALBON at Ekeson Motors Park at Utako same day of 27th December, 2023.

“The fall-out of the FMT-ALBON meeting at Utako, 27th December, 2023 saw a need to come out with publicity of the Motor Parks for passengers who may want to enjoy the same discount as they did when they were travelling out of their work station to get back to their work station.

“The parks are listed as follows:
I. At Lagos – Join from Oshodi Terminal 3
II. At Abuja – Join from Jabi Park
III. At Onitsha – Join from Umugo Park (Port Harcourt Road)
IV. At Aba – Join from Abia Polytechnic, Aba
V. At Kano – Join from Balmary Park, Ring Road/Maidugri Bypass, Hotoro
VI. At Kaduna – Join from Mando Park (Lagos route),
VII. Join from Television Garage for Eastern route
VIII. At Jos – Join from Gadabiu Luxury Park
IX. At Enugu – (Abakiliki/Nsukka) – Join from Old Park in Enugu
X. At Owerri – Join from Somachi Park
XI. At Port Harcourt -. Join from Olu Obasanjo Ezenwata Park
XII. At Sokoto – Join from Sokoto Central Park
XIII. At Gombe – Join from Gombe Central Park
XIV. At Zakibiam – Join from Heavy Duty Park
XV. At Uyo – Join from The Young Shall Grow Park
XVI. At Uyo – Join from Young Shall Grow Park (No.17 Mosignor Akpan Avenue,
XVII. Mbak Itam Itu, Akwa Ibom)
XVIII. At Uyo – Join from The Young Shall Grow Park (No.17 Mosignor Akpan
XIX. Avenue, Mbak Itam Itu, Akwa Ibom) and at
XX. Gombe – Join at Gombe Line Park, Opposite Government House, Gombe,” it explained.

It should be noted that the FG Transport Palliative of 50%Discount was being operated mainly with the Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON) which entered into work arrangement with non-luxury bus/transport companies and operators on routes which luxury buses do not ply.

Explaining that, “On face value, it can also be noted that for the FG Transport Palliative of 50%Discount to be successfully implemented for Nigerians who may want to enjoy it on their return leg to work places, there is need for publicity to create awareness to reach the target publics. The FMT-ALBON meeting held at Ekesons Motors on 27th December, 2023 reasoned as much and decided to acquaint the coordinating authorities with this fact.”

In the meantime, the FG Transport Palliative of 50%Discount continues to be extended to travellers who were noticeable still travelling in droves even though they have missed celebrating Christmas with friends and families, it is as if they resolved to get back with friends and families at home for the New Year celebrations.

Pointing out that, “The competitions to benefit from the FG Transport Palliative of 50%Discount by travelling populations however has been noticed to be attracting negative comments from those who missed out of it at the Jabi Motor Park.

“A certain aggrieved bus operator was loudly expressing his frustrations against the FMT-ALBON coordinators, saying that motor park touts were boarded into some buses in the name of travellers and paid the palliatives. Of course, this is not true, but the incident which necessitated the coordinators who wouldn’t want to join issues with anyone, to quickly withdraw from the park for the day.

“The incident took place on Wednesday, 27th December, 2023, at Jabi and just has to be reported.”