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Business > Transport
FG approves N15b for mass transport
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By Victor Iluyemi
February 22, 2012 08:43:46am GMT      |      Views: 872
A Lagos mass transit bus

Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- The Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday approved the disbursement of N15 billion as part of the efforts to ameliorate the effect of the partial subsidy removal on fuel in the country

Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku made this known while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the fund would go into the public mass transit revolving loan programme to provide 1240 buses for transporters.

Maku said the approval was in continuation of the President promise to aggressively pursue the Subsidy Reinvestment (SURE), programme, the policy initiative of the administration to undertake projects and social intervention that will support Nigerians in the process of deregulating the downstream petroleum sector.

He said, "FEC today approves the disbursement of N15 billion which will go into the public mass transit revolving loan programme which the President floated on January 8 as parts of efforts to reduce the cost of transport especially for the masses in Nigeria.

"This programme which the President launched in September 2010 has so far started in Nigeria a programme of sustainable public transportation system in the country. What Mr President is trying to do is to ensure that for once, this country develops the capacity for mass transportation and this been done both through the railways, waterways as well as road transportation.

"What we approve today will support the purchase of 1,240 high capacity buses for disbursement to competent transport investor in the country. As you do know, this is a revolving loan. Government guarantees the loan at zero per cent interest so that transport investors can have assess to these vehicles and therefore use them to reduce the cost of transportation in all the major cities across the country.

"The buses are given on the basis of a thorough scrutiny on the capacity of the transporters to run them on a sustainable basis," he said.

He further added that, "those companies that have been given the nod to supply the buses have accepted to set up infrastructure in Nigeria for a sustainable supply of spare parts as well as the maintenance of these vehicles.

"In the next couple of years, government will only patronise those companies that are prepared to set up manufacturing plants in Nigeria."

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