By Ignatius Ushie
The Federal Government recently announced the commencement of free train rides on the over $1.5bn new Lagos-Ibadan railway service.
It said the free rides would last for four months and urged commuters to use the train service during the festive season. The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who announced this via his official Twitter handle, noted that the standard gauge rail line was ready for use.
According to him, the free train ride would commence on Saturday , November 30, 2019, till the end of the first quarter of 2020.
The minister explained that the take-off point is the Iju train station in Lagos, while the free rides would help reduce the transportation cost incurred by commuters on the Lagos-Ibadan route.
Amaechi said, “Our free rides on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line will begin today (Saturday) and run through March 2020.
“Commuters on that route can take advantage of it and save transportation during the festive period and beyond. Let’s ride on the #NextLevel. Take-off point is Iju.”
The minister’s tweet was greeted with several reactions, as some of his followers lauded the move, while others criticized the development. Femi Otunba tweeted, “The lion of the Niger Delta, the Knight and the crusader of next level, thank you very much for not disappointing Nigeria and the people’s President, PMB.”
But Adedayo Adeyemo did not see any sense in the arrangement, as he stated that “there will be overcrowding, no one to hold accountable for poor service as it is free. “Facility will be damaged due to overcrowded coaches and given that the train was procured through loan, how does free service help repay the loan?”

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