Standard gauge: Low passengers turnout rock Lagos-Ibadan free train ride


Story by Seun Ibiyemi

The Lagos-Ibadan free train ride recently declared by the Federal Government has been marred by a very low turnout of passengers.

According to the investigation, the train ride which left Lagos for Ibadan on Monday by 4 pm left with just few passengers while the return trip which left Moniya in Ibadan by 9 am on Tuesday came to Lagos with just two passengers.

Reacting to the low turnout, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engineer Fidet Okhiria, stated that with time, the turnout is expected to increase.

In his words, “Don’t forget that when we started the Abuja to Kaduna train ride, the turnout was very low. You know that people always want to be convinced about a service, whether it will be consistent and regular.

“I am happy that four people followed it to Ibadan yesterday. Those four people will tell others about the service, and with time, others will join.

“The two people that came with the train to Lagos from Ibadan will also tell others. Through this channel of communication, we expect the turnout to increase.

“For now, we have only two coaches on the free train ride from Lagos to Ibadan, so we can’t even afford a very large turnout for now. However, we are sure that by the time we will be commencing commercial activities in April of 2020, the turnout would have increased and more coaches would have been added to the service.”

It would be recalled that the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi had over the weekend flagged off the free train ride from Lagos to Ibadan