The National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, has urged the Federal Government to fast-track the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas-powered buses.
The union stated that an adequate implementation of the scheme would cushion the effect of the removal of subsidy.
President Bola Tinubu in July promised to acquire and distribute 3,000 CNG-fuelled buses across the states and local governments for mass transit at an affordable rate.
Also, the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, in a statement on Thursday, said with the introduction of the CNG vehicles, Nigerians would pay less for transportation.
Supporting Edun’s view in an interview, the NURTW spokesperson, Segun Falade, said though the 3,000 vehicles were far less than the population, the government should hasten the process of making them available.
He said, “CNG buses are alternatives that can help ease the effect of the subsidy removal especially as it relates to the current cost of fuel against the CNG.
“What the government should do is that they should try and hasten the processes towards getting the buses. They said they want to acquire 3,000 buses nationwide, which is a far cry from the number of passengers all over Nigeria.
“NURTW alone has more than three million transporters. Three thousand buses will be a far cry. However, the beauty of it all is the percentage of which such buses will be acquired; nine per cent is not bad.
Speaking further, he said, “I would advise that they should put measures in place to have a very broad base training so that most users will have the leverage to make good use of the buses. So, the rate of fatality will be reduced.
“I would also advise that the Federal Government should find a way to hasten towards getting the buses. From what I read, procurement will be around March to August 2024 which is too far off. The buses should be increased from the meagre 3,000 even if it’s in phases.
“They should try and get close to 10,000 buses for Nigerians, and commercial drivers should be supported with adequate training.”
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.