By Zayyad I. Muhammad
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri ‘Fresh Air Metro Buses’ have commenced operation in the Jimeta-Yola metropolis, shuttling between Jimeta and Yola town, Jimeta Modern Market to Sangere. Modibbo Adamawa University to the Market, Sangere, Welcome to Yola City-Gate to the Market axis, etc. The government also said it planned to take more buses to other local government areas.
The metro buses significantly impact the citizens’ lives, as the fare fee is a mere 100 naira to any destination. Students, market women and men, farmers, and civil servants have expressed their joys and delight and excitement as one big issue in the common man’s difficulties—the high cost of transportation—has been solved.
Three cardinal things are the lubricants of a decent life: good healthcare, proper education, and easy transportation. Once a family had these things eased for them, all other things are now secondary.
Politics apart, Gov. Fintiri has impacted healthcare by constructing new cottage hospitals and rehabilitating general hospitals. The payment of WAEC and NECO examination fees, rehabilitation of schools, and teacher welfare. And now, with the commencement of the metro bus service, which has transformed people’s lives not only through easing pressure on their pockets but also through the luxurious nature of the buses while being transported to their places of work, etc.
Recall the arrival in the state of the 58-seater luxurious ‘palliative buses’ was a big surprise to many people, including those in the opposition. Within less than a week of the government’s intention to procure the buses, the buses arrived in the state capital. This is commendable. This writer also says the metro buses are part of the ‘systemic approach’ of the Fintiri government in tackling the economic hardship associated with the removal of the subsidy on petrol, commonly called PMS, by the federal government.
Apart from providing cheap, affordable, and comfortable transportation to the masses, the purchase of the buses by the Fintiri government from Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing (IVM) is a true reflection of the government’s desire to support the local industries, whose multiplier effect can even reach the Adamawa people since the buses are being operated through public-private partnerships (PPP) to create jobs, maintain the buses, and create a friendly business environment to attract more investment.
The Fresh Air Metro buses will assist workers in their daily transport to their offices, pupils to their schools, and the movement of people from one point to another, including the ease of doing business in the state. Furthermore, the buses will greatly eliminate the hustling of using KEKE NAPEP tricycles.
One of the most important aspects of it is that the buses will greatly eliminate the insecurity that Shila Boys associate with the KEKE NAPEP; people will now freely and comfortably use the buses even at night without the fear of anything happening to them as each bus has security personnel attached to it. Urban planners have looked to such public transportation to facilitate improvements in community health and well-being.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Abuja.