The Rivers State Government has begun a COVID-19 free bus scheme to lessen the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on citizens.

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Launching the scheme in Port Harcourt on Monday, the State Commissioner for Transport, Mr Sunny Ejekwu, lauded the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for the initiative, which he described as the first of it’s kind in the country.

Ejekwu stated that the buses would ply Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt, Oyigbo and Eleme Local Government Areas as a pilot scheme.

“With the launch of this scheme, you can feel the pulse of a governor that is concerned about the health and welfare of Rivers people.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Wike has done so much to show his love for his people. You remember that in terms of palliatives, he has spent a lot of resources apart from the facilities he has put in place for the safety of the people,” he stated.

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The Commissioner said the 28 luxury buses would operate strictly in line with advisories on social distancing, use of hand sanitisers and wearing of face masks.

The buses, he said, would pick and drop passengers only at designated bus stops, adding that the buses will operate from 6:30 AM to 7 PM daily.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, described the free bus scheme as “a gift you get from a compassionate and visionary leader.”

He called on Rivers people to appreciate the fact that Wike was desirous to make sure that they do not suffer during this period.