By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Understanding the sensitivity of old age and need for comfort to ensure a healthy life without anxiety, Lagos State Government has concluded plans to introduce a new transportation policy for 60years and above residents, aimed at easing their movement within the state.
Also to be introduced by Lagos government is the distribution of stipends to aged persons, to assist them in addressing financial challenges that often prevent their ability to cater for needs.
The policy, according to the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is a social intervention programme designed to care for elders since they were not active again after using their youthful energy to build Lagos to its present status.
Sanwo-Olu, at the just concluded Civic Weeks, disclosed that the policy that will come alive under an existing umbrella name, Sanwo-Olu cares, will also cater for pregnant women, to achieve zero maternal mortality rates in Lagos.
According to the Governor, the Social inclusion initiative is one of the many social intervention programmes which his administration would be introducing to make life better for residents.
As a pilot for the policies to be implemented by the Office of Civic Engagement, the governor, yesterday, disbursed the sum of N50,000 each to some elderly residents in the state, to offset any possible bill.
On the free bus ride for elderly, he explained that the initiative is currently being designed to allow elderly persons in Lagos State to use public transport without paying a fare.
According to him, the elderly transport pass is a card that can only be used by the elders in Lagos and would have been loaded for them with the needed funds to ease their transportation needs.
“Whenever they want to use any of our buses, all they need to do is swipe the card on electronic card readers in the bus and that admits them to enjoy the free bus ride.
“We are almost done with the platform that will cater for the elders in Lagos. And we complete the process, we will call everyone to come and witness it,” the governor added.
It was gathered that the platform would allow elders to have atleast three days within the week to enjoy a free ride on any Lagos State transport system.
Aside from the free bus ride, the policy would also compel officials and drivers of Lagos State buses to accord special preference to the elderly by retaining seats for them in buses and allow them to board bus ahead of other passengers.
The Guild learned that those that will be captured under the platform are residents of Lagos that have attained 60 years and above.