The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Monday launched its transport service with 150 new luxury buses.
The buses, unveiled at a ceremony in Lagos, were bought through a N2.5 billion loan obtained by the congress from the Infrastructural Bank, formerly Urban Development Bank.
The loan was guaranteed by the Federal Government.
Inaugurating the buses, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu, said that the Federal Government earmarked N10 billion for bus transportation project.
``Labour got 50 per cent out of which the TUC received N2.5 billion,’’ Wogu said.
He said that government would continue to partner with the Labour on policies that would improve the lives of the masses as well as to deepen democracy.
Wogu urged the China-based manufacturers of the buses to establish a plant in Nigeria to service, maintain and assemble such buses.
``I can assure you that the Federal Government will allow you to establish a plant in Nigeria to service and assemble the buses because this will create jobs for our people,’’ he said.
The minister gave the assurance that the government would also expand the marine and rail transport systems to ease transportation.
The TUC President, Mr Peter Esele, said that the loan would attract a five per cent interest per annum, payable over five years.
He said that the transport project would be managed by the Country-wide Logistics and the Eko Megacity to ensure transparency and prudence.
``The two operators have the licence to route the buses so as to ensure that the loan was repaid within the specific period,’’ Esele said.
He expressed the confidence that the transport project would improve the lives of Nigerians.
Esele said that the TUC also planned to implement a housing project whereby Nigerians would not pay more than N9 million to own a house, while the loan could be offset within 15 years.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 100 of the buses are to operate within Lagos while the rest are to ply inter-state routes.