Kwara State Government on Monday commenced its free transport palliatives for students and staff of some tertiary institutions in the state, as part of measures to cushion the effects of fuel scarcity and currency change.
The government had last Thursday announced plans to make available buses at the designated motor parks to convey the students and staff of tertiary institutions along specific routes down to their campuses.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Students Affairs, Mr Bello Mubarak, who supervised the exercise across the designated motor park in Ilorin, said the free bus ride was considered necessary by the government to ease the suffering of students of the affected campuses amid the difficulty imposed by the scarcity of fuel.
Mubarak, in a statement released on Sunday night, said, “This intervention, in the first phase, covers students commuting long distances within the Ilorin metropolis, specifically for students of University of Ilorin and Kwara State Polytechnic. The arrangements are as follows:
“From tomorrow (Monday) a long bus is expected to shuttle between Post Office and Kwara State Polytechnic, two long buses will shuttle between Post Office and Tanke (Edinwo Supermarket) while two different buses will shuttle between Tanke (Bus Terminal) and Unilorin Campus.
“All of these buses will operate between the hours of 6am and 10am and again between 3pm and 6pm (Mondays through Fridays).
“All students and staff are enjoined to be orderly in order to achieve a hitch-free exercise,” he said.
He said the governor, after receiving complaints from the students’ union leaders, deemed it fit to come to their aid by conveying them to campuses free of charge.
Senior Special Assistant on Transport, Ibrahim Orire, explained that the programme was in response to the reality on the ground and to save the students from missing their classes daily.
“We are here to supervise the government’s free transport palliatives to students of higher institutions in Kwara State such as Unilorin, Kwara Polytechnic and KWASU in Malete. It is an important step by Governor AbdulRazaq to support the students because of the hardship of getting fuel, ” he said.
Some of the students, who spoke with newsmen at various points, appreciated the administration for being responsive and sensitive to their plights.
Suleiman Olanrewaju, a student at the University of Ilorin and member of the School Transport Committee, said the initiative came in handy; he commended the government for its timely intervention.
“Yes, there are government intervention buses all over here. I think we have four long buses known as Soludero buses. Everything here is free. It comes in handy for us because this place is always messy. For us to see Soludero buses here and they are even free, we thank the government for the palliatives,” he said.
Olooto AbdulHakeem, an executive member of the National Association Nigeria Students, Kwara State branch also lauded AbdulRazaq for acceding to their request, noting that the gesture will go a long way in ameliorating their difficulty in getting to and coming from their respective campuses.
“For me, I am very excited, because I used to stay around the campus for a whole week because of the mobility problem, but with this arrangement from the government, I will be able to go and come back home daily,” he said.
Passengers were seen boarding the free long buses at the post office park as well as Tanke garage, among others.