THE Federal Government yesterday approved the disbursement of N15 billion as a revolving interest-free loan to boost public transportation in the country. The programme initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan on January 8 during the anti-fuel subsidy removal protests by organised Labour and civil society groups is part of efforts to reduce the cost of transportation for Nigerians. At the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting where the approval was announced yesterday, the government also endorsed the issuance of provisional licences to five new private universities in the country.
On the N15 billion revolving loan for public transport, Information Minister Labaran Maku said: “What Mr. President is trying to do is to ensure that for once this country develops the capacity for mass transportation and this has been done both through the railways, waterways as well as road transportation. What we approve today will support the purchase of 1,240 high capacity buses for disbursement to competent transport investors in the country. As you do know, this is a revolving loan. Government guarantees the loan at zero per cent interest so that transport investors can have assess to these vehicles and therefore use them to reduce the cost of transportation in all the major cities across the country.