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50% Transport Fare Slash Unrealistic and Misleading

The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, took to his X account to commend the President’s initiative to slash interstate transport fares during the festive season between Thursday, 21st December 2023 to January 4th, 2024. He then raised salient points and concerns about the initiative. He encouraged the government to look into a more sustainable approach to find lasting solutions to the underlying issues of a bad economy.

The post by Peter Obi said: “I read the reports of the President’s approval of a 50 percent slash in interstate transport fare for Nigerians traveling during this Yelutide from Thursday 21, 2023 to January 4, 2024”.

“However, the major concern about such emergency measures is what follows afterward. The high cost of transportation and associated hardships are all well known. This seasonal palliative raises the question of what happens after the festive season. Is there a sustainable policy to cushion the masses from high transportation costs? Even the current effort comes with operational challenges. Millions of people have already traveled, bearing the brunt and huge costs of such travel. How will such people get their refunds or be compensated”.

“Compassion on the part of the government is a good thing, but it should not be an avenue for exploiting the weak structures of government to encourage less-than-transparent policy implementation”.

The announcement by the government was very misleading considering that only a few transport companies were approved by the government to partner with in the initiative, and only 28 routes out of the thousands of routes covering the 36 states, which automatically excludes millions of Nigerians.

It also brings to the fore the administration’s inability to have a scale of preference for the many needs, which would help prioritize interventions and public policies that would have maximum impact on the masses. This initiative, like many before it, comes across as populist instead of a well-thought-out policy that will solve the root cause of the problem.

The post acknowledged government efforts while encouraging them to look critically into implementation. Also, it made a case for finding a holistic approach that will lead to permanent solutions instead of emergency stop gaps that only provide temporary relief, if any at all. Too many loopholes in the initiative would make its implementation a logistics nightmare, and the lack of transparency in a government known for misappropriation righty raises a lot of eyebrows.

 

 

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