By Florence Onuegbu
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday announced a 50 per cent cut in fares on all government-owned transportation system.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the announcement at the Lagos House Marina, while addressing newsmen on the fuel shortage and currency exchange crisis in the country.
Sanwo-Olu said that the 50 per cent fare reduction would take effect from Thursday and would be effective for seven days.
He said that the currency exchange and the lingering fuel situation had, no doubt, raised the tension in the land, but thanked Lagos residents for their patience and understanding in the face of hardship experienced in recent days.
Sanwo-Olu said the government had taken some steps to cushion the effects of these measures that were announced at the federal level, but with telling effects on states.
”Your resilience has been remarkable. On behalf of the Executive Council, I thank you most sincerely for standing firm, demonstrating your confidence in our ability to protect your interest in these difficult days.
”There have been talks between the state government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (NNPCL) on the lingering fuel shortage.
”NNPCL demanded Ijegun Egba tank owners and operators unhindered access to the tank farms, where about 40 per cent of petroleum products come from.
”We have been able to do that by rearranging the timing of the work on the Buba Marwa Road, the dual carriageway that leads to the tank farms.
“The road is over 50 per cent completed. Now, you would have noticed some improvement in the supply of petroleum products.
”Also, we have given approval for 24 hours work at petrol stations around the state,” he said.
He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) currency exchange deadline had, no doubt, caused some dislocation, and Lagos, being Nigeria’s business and financial engine-room was feeling the effects of the measure.
He commended the Judiciary (Supreme Court) for the wise ruling on the currency exchange matter.
”To further support Lagosians to weather these stormy days, I hereby announce a 50 per cent cut in fares on all our BRT buses, LAGRIDE taxi-scheme, First Mile and Last Mile buses, and Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY).
”This will take effect from tomorrow for the next seven days. We will push out more Cowrie Cards to enable more Lagosians get onboard our services.
”I have directed that food banks be set up in various parts of the state, to cater for the vulnerable. We will distribute food stuff to various communities.
”I would like to thank our security agencies (the Military, the Department of State Services, the Police, the Civil Defence and Neighbourhood Watch) for their service and diligence in these days.
”I would also like to warn mischief makers who may see this as an opportunity to incite violence that this is not the way to go.
“I enjoin every law-abiding citizen to go about their lawful business without fear,” Sanwo-Olu said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Abdulfatai Beki/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma