In a heartening development, Augustine Arisa, the Lagos District Manager of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), expresses how the presidential initiative offering free train services during the festive season has provided relief to countless travellers. Arisa, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), acknowledges the positive impact of the initiative, emphasizing its support for the masses and alleviation of transportation costs.
Commending the Federal Government for this timely support, Arisa discloses that the NRC has been fully complying with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s directive for free rides until January 4, 2024. The free train services cover various routes, including Iddo to Kajola, Iddo to Ijoko, Kajola to Apapa, Apapa to Kajola, Lagos to Ibadan, and Ibadan to Lagos. Arisa reports that they run two return trips on the Lagos-Ibadan and Apapa-Kajola routes daily, while there is a daily trip from Iddo-Ijoko and Ijoko to Iddo.
Travellers, such as banker Tunde Ashiru and evangelist Rebecca Ajayi, express their gratitude for the government’s assistance during the festive period. Ashiru, traveling with his family to Abeokuta, plans to book a return trip in January to avail the free ride back to Lagos. Ajayi, who traveled to Ibadan with church members, prays for the success of the present administration.
In a related development, passengers benefiting from the luxury bus fare reduction facilitated by the federal government also share their appreciation for the 50% discount. Passengers at God Is Good (GIG) Motors and Chisco Transport express their gratitude for the relief provided during the festive season.
While passengers commend the government for the initiative, some suggest improvements, with Nkechi Emeka urging the NRC management to enhance the booking process to avoid multiple seat bookings. Meanwhile, Ben Orobosa, a passenger traveling from Lagos to Benin, suggests that the government could have informed travellers earlier in December to better plan their journeys.
The Operations Manager of Chisco Transport, Gabriel Ajayeoba, echoes the sentiments of gratitude, acknowledging the government’s intervention in reducing fares. Despite challenges in the country, Ajayeoba notes that they have been loading full buses to Abuja and the Eastern parts of the country, showcasing the positive impact of the incentive during the festive period.