Nigeria Eases Holiday Travel Costs, Offers Free Trains, Reduces Bus Fares for Christmas


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While everyone gets ready for the holidays and travels to spend the festive season with their loved ones, transport fares start rising ahead of Christmas, however, the Nigerian government has cut transport costs by 50%.

With exactly 4 days until Christmas, transporters have hiked fares as more people travel upcountry for the festive season. In several countries, taxi, train, and bus fares have increased.

In a bid to alleviate the financial strain associated with holiday travel, the Nigerian government introduced measures to provide relief to its citizens during the festive season.

The Nigerian government declared on December 20 that public transport tickets would be lowered by 50% nationwide for the holidays and that trains would run for free.

Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development and chair of the inter-ministerial committee on presidential intervention in Nigeria, emphasised that the main objective is to enable citizens to visit their hometowns and loved ones “without stress and the extra burden imposed by the high cost of transport around the festive season.”

The free train rides and reduced interstate prices are the result of a partnership with companies that run opulent buses on 22 routes around Nigeria. The initiative runs from December 21 to January 4. Mr. Alake noted that this programme, which notably focuses on the public, has the blessing of President Bola Tinubu.

Sa’idu Alkali, Minister for Transport, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to making sure that “every Nigerian can partake in the joy of the season without the burden of exorbitant transportation costs.” This action is expected to increase the general public’s accessibility and affordability of vacation travel, he noted.

General Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport in Uganda, announced on December 15 that the ministry will engage leaders from the Uganda Taxi and Drivers Association (UTODA), the Federation of Uganda Taxi Operators (UTOF), and the Uganda Bus Drivers and Allied Association early this week to reach an agreement on fare adjustments.

However, Members of Uganda’s Parliament expressed alarm on Wednesday, December 20, about the drivers charging incredibly high and exploitative charges for public transport on Uganda’s Northern, West Nile, Eastern, and Western routes in advance of the Christmas season.

In Uganda, travellers heading from Kampala to Kisoro are paying Ugx80,000, up from Ugx50,000, to Hoima, up from Ugx15000 to Ugx30,000. Those heading to Kabale are paying between Ugx30,000 and Ugx70,000, while those heading to Fort Portal are now paying between Ugx40,000 and Ugx60,000. Gulu is up from 30,000 to 40,000; Arua and Yumbe are up from Ugx50,000 to Ugx60,000.

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