In order to ease the suffering caused by the removal of petrol subsidy by the Federal Government, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, says the state government has placed order for new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to boost its fleet for the state’s free transport scheme.

The governor, who said this in his Independence Day speech, noted that his administration was, “taking critical steps within the limits of the resources available to us as a state by initiating and implementing policies and programmes to respond to the recent fuel subsidy removal policy by the Federal Government.”

According to Obaseki, “We have introduced free transport service for passengers on all routes operated by the state-owned Edo City Transport Service (ECTS), among many support programmes that the Edo State Government has put in place to reduce the challenge, sufferings and exorbitant cost of living faced by Edo people.

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“We are glad with the salutary impact of this initiative which covers 13 intra-city routes and several intercity city routes daily, covering towns and villages within the State’s three senatorial districts. Over three hundred thousand residents have benefited from the scheme in the first two weeks of the palliative programme, while we expect over 1,500,000 residents are projected to benefit in the initial two months of the free transport initiative. We have placed new orders for additional CNG-run buses to increase the fleet.”

On other measures being adopted to ameliorate the effect of the hardship caused by high transport fares, he said: “We also launched a 24-hour free Wi-Fi service in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other public places in the State to provide unlimited internet access to workers and other residents to enable them work effectively and efficiently from selected public spaces.”