The Niger State Government has signed an agreement with four different contracting firms for the purchase of at least 200 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses at a cost of N7 billion to reduce the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy by providing free transportation to pupils and students in the state.
Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago, who made this disclosure during the signing of the agreement at the Government House, Minna, said the delivery of the buses is expected to be completed in 12 weeks.
Bago said buying the buses is in fulfilment of his promise to provide free transportation for schoolchildren. The governor also stated that transportation fares will be subsidised for all civil servants.
According to him: “The first 100 buses will be deployed to serve commuters between Abuja and Suleja, with 50 to be used in Minna, the state capital. The remaining 50 Buses will be spread across other local government areas, and an additional 300 buses will be purchased next year as part of the second phase of the scheme. The gesture is also to bring a revolution in the transportation system and reduce the rate of accidents on roads.”
Bago added that in the next four years, his administration will purchase a total of 1000 CNG buses as well as electric motorcycles to reduce the pollution caused by fuel-engine motorcycles. He then urged the contractors to deliver the buses according to the specifications while calling on investors to take advantage of the policy to set up CNG plants in the state.
Speaking on behalf of other contractors, the representative of Nationwide Unity Transport Limited, Mohammed Bawa, assured that all contractors would stick to the contract agreement.
He stated: “The 200 high-capacity buses will be of great quality and will come with a warranty of two years, while the availability of spare parts will be for the next 10 years.”
The four companies expected to supply 50 buses each include Topdesk International, Nationwide Unity Transport Limited, Afrobase Services Limited, Musako Motors and Transportation Nigeria Limited.