Fuel, electricity hike: FG’ll mitigate economic hardship on citizenry, says Akume

The Minister of Special Duties and Inter – Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was working hard to mitigate the economic hardship occasioned by the hike in prices of petrol and electricity tariff.

Akume, who disclosed this in Abuja, recently when he received a top management delegate from one of the Abuja-based media organisations, said the proposed 2, 000 buses that would soon be rolled out through cooperatives nationwide. The minister stated that the present administration was also investing more on infrastructure, especially rail and roads to provide a sustainable economic stimulus for all Nigerians.

According to him, the administration was paying more attention to roads and rails because many Nigerians who contribute to the nation’s economy use these means of transportation. He said: “Most of our people travel by roads and rails. We require more buses on the business men who want to take undue advantage of the situation. The Ministry of Special Duties and Inter -Governmental Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other government agencies are working very hard to ensure the realisation of this project.”

He explained that the cooperative buses scheme will he executed using cooperative societies nationwide, so that the recovery of the loan will be easier. Akume said: “We have realised that when you give loans to individuals, sometimes it is difficult to recover the loan, but when cooperative is involved, it becomes a lot easier to manage the facility.

The Nigerian cooperative movement has been in existence for decades and has been doing wonderfully well. “The whole essence here is to ensure that rural people have access to decent transportation facility. And now that there is slight adjustment in the price of oil, we do recognise some shylock business men could decide to take advantage, so we believe that once this project is realised it will go a long way to stabilise transportation prices for the benefit of our people.”

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