As part of an effort to alleviate the hardship faced by commuters in the state, the Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed on Wednesday flagged off a N257million Maigida Soludero Mass Transit Scheme.
Speaking during the flag off ceremony in Ilorin, the state capital, Governor Ahmed said the scheme builds on the existing transports interventions in the state, and is designed to relieve the hardship faced by commuters in the metropolis as well as boost commerce in the state.
According to him, the ten buses currently in the Maigida Soludero Mass Transit Scheme were purchased for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) through a credit facility provided by the Kwara State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Bureau.
He said in the coming months, additional credit facilities will be provided to the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the Association of Independent Marketers (AIT) to acquire buses that will ply other routes within and outside the state capital, Ilorin.
According to him, “these partnerships with stakeholders in the road transport sector are designed to ensure efficiency of the mass transit scheme through provision of additional buses without depriving transporters of their livelihoods”.
He recalled that since 2014, his administration has provided 100 taxis, 193 motorcycles and 25 mini buses to various transporters in the state saying the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has created economic opportunities and expanded the livelihoods of over 60,000 people in the state.
Dr. Ahmed said his administration has injected a sum of N1,280,000,000 into the MSME scheme leading to a turnover of N3billion, stating that the transit scheme is the latest instalment of intervention designed to boost the informal sector, enhance public transportation and empower the people of the state economically.
Earlier, the president of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin described the gesture as laudable and assured the government of their support. He said members will make judicious use of the buses by finding drivers that will take care of the vehicles while his counterparts in the RTEAN and AIT said the programme was another watershed in the administration of Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed in Kwara State whom they said always fulfils his promises.