The Federal Government has ordered the immediate payment of February salaries to assist workers wishing to travel to vote during Saturday’s rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections to do so.
The announcement was made on Wednesday by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, while briefing journalists at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister said the payment of salaries to federal workers already commenced on Tuesday, which is “to ease the burden off civil servants planning to travel for the elections”.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), postponed the presidential election billed for February 16 to February 23.
Many who had travelled to their voting destinations were forced to return to their bases and there have been ruminations among the populace that many will not return to vote.
Mr Mohammed said the FEC, on Wednesday, discussed the issue and reviewed some of the palliatives put in place to help people return to cast their votes.
He said the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), with a membership of about 50,000, “(which) controls 80 per cent of the petroleum sector distribution has agreed to cushion the effect of the postponement by reducing the price of pump price of petrol from N145 to 140 from February 21 to 25th”.
The minister said the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), which has about 2 million members and operates motor parks in all the 774 local government areas across the country, has offered to provide discount to travellers using their motor parks.
“All these (are) aimed at encouraging voters who might have been disenfranchised by the postponement.”
Mr Mohammed also said as part of the incentives, two airlines, Aero contractors and Arik Air, are offering discounted fares to passengers.
He said while Aero is offering a 50 per cent discount to all travellers who present their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), at point of purchase, Arik has slashed the price of their tickets to N16000 to all destinations across the country from February 18 to 11 March 11, 2019.