Free Bus Scheme: Edo spent N110m on diesel in three months

Chris Nehikhare

  • Says claims by Senator Okpebholo false, should be disregarded

In response to recent allegations made by Senator Monday Okpebholo, who represents the Edo Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, the Edo State Government has issued a statement to clarify its expenditure on the free transport scheme implemented to mitigate the impact of the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government.

According to the Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, the government has disbursed a total of N110 million in the last three months for the free bus scheme. This initiative, designed to alleviate the financial burden on Edo residents, operates both intra-city services from Monday to Saturdays and inter-city services from Monday to Sundays across the State.

Nehikhare emphasized that the scheme, which commenced on September 11, 2023, has successfully benefited over 1.5 million Edo residents in its initial phase. Despite the substantial rise in diesel prices and operational costs, the Edo City Transport Service (ECTS) has explored various avenues to offset the surge. These include skeletal hire services and partnerships with groups and religious organizations, such as Christ Embassy, Church of God Mission, and Winners, to augment the increased costs without additional government funding.

Addressing the misleading comments attributed to Senator Okpebholo, Nehikhare stated, “For the record, the figures quoted by the senator are imaginary. They are ill-intentioned and have no basis in truth, and should be disregarded by all Edo people.” He went on to express disappointment in the senator’s apparent lack of due diligence and encouraged him to seek accurate information from relevant government agencies.

Furthermore, Nehikhare affirmed the government’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and prudent management of public resources under the leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki. He reassured Edo residents that their resources are in safe hands and urged them to dismiss unfounded claims regarding the free transport scheme.

The Edo State Government urged the public to rely on accurate and verified information and emphasized that the figures provided by Senator Okpebholo were fabricated and lacked credibility. The government encouraged open communication and reiterated its dedication to serving the best interests of the people.

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