BY MUHAMMAD MAMMAN MUBARAK, OCTOBER 13, 2023 | 01:55 PM
The removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria, which has led to a significant increase in fuel prices, is expected to benefit Nigerians in the long run. However, it has also imposed hardships on many citizens, affecting fees, rent, food prices, and transportation costs, making them unaffordable for many.
The introduction of palliative measures by the Federal Government is commendable. In Borno, the state government has taken a proactive approach by procuring 70 public transport buses, with approximately 30 of them operating within Maiduguri. These buses charge only N50 per trip, a substantial reduction from the N150 charged by private transport providers. This initiative primarily benefits students and civil servants who commute long distances to schools and workplaces.
At the University of Maiduguri, this initiative has improved school attendance, particularly for students traveling from distant places like the 1000 housing estate, 707 housing estate, Muna, and Molai, all of which are 10 to 20 kilometers away. The affordability of the N50 fare compared to the usual N150 charged by keke Napep has made it easier for them to attend school regularly.
However, the manual collection of transport fees for these buses presents a challenge, leading to time wastage and congestion. To address this issue, the Borno State Government can take inspiration from Lagos State, which introduced a ticketing system with an online payment platform in 2020. This system enabled passengers to subscribe and renew their travel cards online, reducing queues and eliminating the need for conductors to collect cash fares.
Borno State should follow a similar path and establish an online payment and booking platform for the Borno Express Transport Corporation. This platform should be accessible to both students and the general public, enhancing the state's revenue generation and improving transparency in the transportation sector. Such a system will not only reduce congestion at payment counters but also elevate our city's reputation as one of the most organized in the nation.
Name: Muhammad Mamman Mubarak Email: Muhammadmammanmubarak@gmail.com
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