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Subsidy removal: Gombe, Bauchi slash transport fare

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Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Fellow Press

The Gombe State Government has reduced transport fare for Gombe Line Transport Company to cushion the effect of Petroleum subsidy removal on the residents of the state.

Mr Ismaila Uba-Misilli, Director-General, Press Affairs, Government House, Gombe said this while responding to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on status of state owned transport companies.

According to him, measures are being put in place to ease transportation burden on the people occasioned by fuel subsidy removal.

He said the company maintained a functional fleet providing effective transport services to boost business activities, ensure comfort and safety of passengers.

He said that governor, Inuwa Yahaya’s administration has transformed the transportation sector in the state since assumption of office.

Uba-Misili said the administration had procured 90 buses between 2019 and 2022 to add to the company’s fleet.
The governor’s aide said the state government also subsidised transportation fare to ensure that residents were able to travel without financial burden.

“The state government has subsidised transportation fare just as fertilisers and inputs to assist residents and other Nigerians accessing the state.

“There is subsidy because Gombe Line charge about N9,000 for passengers travelling to Abuja as against N25,000 charge by commercial vehicle operators, and N13,000 or N14,000 charge by the regular motor parks for the same route.
“This is also part of the palliative measures being rolled out by the government just like the GO-CARES,” he said.

Mr Abubakar Yusuf, a passenger, lauded the gesture, adding that, “I commend the state government for reinvigorating the state-owned transport company, especially with the new buses and subsidised fare”.

Similarly, the Bauchi State Government has procured 30 vehicles for the state owned Yankari Express Transport Corporation.

The Chairman of the company, Alin Bababa, said the company planned to set up motor parks across the senatorial zones to ease transportation difficulties.

The measure, he said, was part of effort to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

According to him, the company has reintroduced inter-city bus services at subsidised fare in major towns across the state.

“The zonal motor parks will enable passengers to travel to other places without coming to Bauchi metropolis.
“It is part of strategies to ease the impact of fuel subsidy removal on our citizens, especially students,” he said.

However, some residents of Dutse in Jigawa have called for the revival of the state owned comatose transport company, “Jigawa Sunrise”, to enhance transportation services.

They decried lack of public transportation in Dutse and other major towns in the state, adding that the trend forced them to rely on commercial motorcycle riders.

Abubakar Adamu, a civil servant, said the call was imperative to transform the company and mitigate the effect of fuel subsidy removal on the citizens.

He said that most of the workers resorted to trekking to their offices as they could not afford exorbitant transport fare.

Corroborating Adamu, a resident, Halima Aminu, said the revival of the company would reduce transport fare and encourage competition in the sector.
Correspondent of NAN, who visited the company’s office in Dutse, reports that it has been not been in operation for many years.

A former staff of the company, who preferred anonymity, said the management of the company were making effort to enable it to resume operation soon.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Sagir Musa, said that plans were underway to support the people and mitigate hardships ocasioned by subsidy removal.

He said the State Executive Council (SEC) on July 28, delibrated on how to come up with sound policies and programmes to support the people.

This, he said, was in line with the Federal Government’s directives for states to come up with initiatives to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on people of the state.

“The state governor, Umar Namadi has directed the Ministry of Information to come up with plans to support all category of people in the state,”

Metro

Gunmen kidnap another Catholic priest in Anambra

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Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Anambra State based Catholic priest, Reverend Father Christian Ike, has been abducted by assailants.

The clergyman was reportedly taken away by the assailants on Sunday, along Amagu junction, Ndiokpaleke, in Ajali community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

An eyewitness in the area, who narrated the incident our correspondents, said the priest was returning alongside two other persons from an early morning Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church when the assailants double-crossed his vehicle.

The source said unknown gunmen kidnapped the priest and took some personal belongings in the vehicle, but the reason for the incident has yet to be ascertained.

The eyewitness said, “The priest and two other persons were returning from St. Micheal Catholic Church, where they attended morning service.

“On getting to Amagu Junction, their vehicle was double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two other persons escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle.”

Confirming the incident, the Anambra State police spokesman, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the command had deployed its intelligence and operational assets for the priest’s possible rescue unhurt.

He added that further development will be communicated as it unfolds.

Ikenga said, “Anambra State Police Command received the information of the abduction of Rev Father Christian Ike and has deployed its intelligence and operational assets of the Command for possible rescue unhurt.

“Eyewitness account revealed by 10:30 am on 16/6/2024, the priest and two others were returning from St. Micheal Catholic Church Ndiokpaleke where they attended morning service, along Amagu Junction, they were double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle.

“To this end, the Command has activated its intelligence and operational assets for possible arrest of the assailants and rescue unhurt of the priest.”

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Minimum wage: Archbishop urges compromise

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Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Fellow Press

Archbishop Joseph Ojo, General Overseer of the Calvary Kingdom Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos State, on Saturday urged labour leaders and the Federal Government to reach a compromise as regards a new minimum wage.

Ojo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The archbishop described wage negotiation as a social contract that should be approached with empathy by parties.

According to him compromise is needed in the matter to save the country from anxiety.

“They should consider the fact that the unemployed are much more than the few that are in government employment.

“The federal, states and local governments only employed some workers.

“Others are in firms owned and operated by individuals that might not be able to pay higher wage.

“The higher they push it, the higher the inability of the unemployed to survive, because firms, which struggle to pay staff, may not talk of hiring new ones,” he said.

The cleric said that lack of employment might result in increase in crimes.

“There are private sector employers, who cannot cope with what the federal or states will offer,” he added.

The cleric said that high wage bill might compel private schools to increase school bills to meet up with overhead costs.

“Some parents will not meet up, and their children would be forced to drop out of school,” he said.

He also advised governments to consider subsisting social-economic variables, such as cost of food items, transport and medical bills, and offer a sustainable minimum wage.

“The parties ought to put all these into consideration to achieve progress in their negotiation,” the cleric said.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are now demanding N250, 000 as a new minimum wage.

The Federal Government has offered to pay N62,000.

Negotiations are ongoing.

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