The Federal Government has concluded plans to distribute 2000 buses to cooperative societies across the country to cushion the effects of transportation on Nigerians, especially those living in rural areas.
Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Dr. George Akume, stated this in Abuja on Friday at an interactive meeting with the stakeholders of cooperative societies in Nigeria tagged the ‘Cooperative Asset Scheme’.
According to him, the initiative was a collaboration between his ministry, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and other agencies of government.
Akume said that the ministry took the decision to pass through the co-operative bodies to ensure the effective implementation of the project, rather than giving out loans to individuals, which might delay the quick execution of the project.
“Basically, we recognize the fact that when you give out loans to individuals, sometimes you have the difficulty of recovery, but when cooperative is involved, it becomes easier to manage the facility.
“The whole essence of the initiative is to ensure that our rural force has access to a transportation facility, now that there is a slight adjustment of the price of fuel.
“We do recognize that some transport businessmen could decide to take advantage of fuel increase over Nigerians.
“So, when this is implemented, we believe the initiative will do quite a lot to stabilize the prices for the benefits of the people,” Akume said.
The Special Duties Minister said that there was no way the country could promote development without transportation which explained why President Muhammadu Buhari was working hard in the areas of road, rail, and air transportation.
Speaking earlier, the Project Coordinator, Cooperative Asset Scheme, Mr. Olakunle Jeff, said that the Federal Government had given the buses to the cooperative societies at a good price for onward distribution to the interested members of the society.
He said: “The essence of the project is that now that we have a new pump price, we want to ensure that the effect on the masses is at a minimal level and that is the essence of the first 2000 buses.”
Jeff said that the initiative would also mitigate the challenge of transportation faced by rural farmers.