President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, commissioned a fleet of 107 gas and electric-powered buses as well as taxis in the second phase of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum’s metro transport scheme.
The scheme aims to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy withdrawal.
The commissioning ceremony took place around the Shehu of Borno’s Palace but before the event, President Tinubu, accompanied by Zulum, paid homage to the Shehu, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin El-kanemi.
President Tinubu was in Maiduguri for this year’s Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference and took the time to commission Zulum’s vehicles after first visiting the Shehu.
Governor Zulum in his remark at the commissioning said, “Mr President, after you announced the subsidy removal and your consequent directive to governors to provide immediate palliative, in Borno State we decided to invest massively in a mass transit scheme.”
Each of the 107 vehicles was converted to use electricity and gas to enable the use of low-cost energy sources and provide cheap transportation for citizens most of whom are recovering from the destruction caused by the over one-decade-old Boko Haram insurgency.
The new fleet of buses comprised 35 units of 30-seater gas-powered coaster buses, 12 units of 15-seater gas-powered Hummer buses, 10 units of 50-seater gas-powered mass transit buses and 50 units of 4-seater electric-powered taxi vehicles.
Borno State, this year, procured 120 buses from which Governor Zulum, in September, launched a fleet of 77 buses which were dispatched to over 15 routes within the metropolis and Jere Local Government.
The governor’s transport scheme immediately crashed prices of transportation across Maiduguri. While private transport means such as Keke Napep charge about N150 per route, Zulum’s buses charge N50.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu after commissioning the 107 vehicles commended Governor Zulum for providing good governance to the people.
He said, “Your Excellency (Governor Zulum)… this is exactly ‘Hope Renewed’. Thank you for your good job always. Thank you once again for being innovative and creative, for your concern about your people and the good governance you provide.”