Sunday, December 6, 2020 10:00 am
During the inauguration of the Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIOTA) in Abuja on Friday, 4 December, Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, made a revelation that has been generating angry reaction from Nigerians.
Amaechi said: “I have received the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the Lagos/Ibadan rail project by January 2021 which will make Nigerians see the way the standard gauge railway looked like.
“Today I approved the charges on passengers from Lagos to Ibadan, we just transfer how we charged from Abuja to Kaduna.
“We charge N3,000 per Economy seat, N5,000 for Business class and N6,000 for First class, the same is applicable to Lagos to Ibadan. It should have started running by now before Mr President inaugurates it by January.”
To Dele Olagunju, a public affairs analyst: “When you look at these prices, you will realize that, it is a little bit on the high side to average Nigerian. The reason is just the fact that, there is economic melt down. Secondly, transport fare to Ibadan by road is in the region of 1k to 1,500. But we must realize that, rail transport is the safest. Secondly, the Chinese loan must be paid accordingly and as when due. The rail must be maintained regularly by engineers. So, for now government can not subsidized.
But then, I will like to appeal to government to pls reduce the fare for the economy seat to 2k. Business class to 3,500 and first class to 4,500. It can even be discounted if one is buying ticket in advance, say, in two months time. May Nigeria succeed.”
Funmi Adewola, reacted: “I appreciate this submission and every logical position I have read since morning. You see those advocating for 500 fare, just don’t bother explaining to them.
According to Adeola Amusat: “It seems the rail system is not meant for the poor especially when compared to road transport which is about one third of the fare and where you have the really poor waiting by the roadside for free lift or what have you.
I want to believe that this should have been factored in at inception to access the viability and thereby concentrate more on freight train to move goods, containers and fuel up country.
In the words of Ilori Olajide, “The rail line to ibadan is an elastic service, it has alternative. No one is forced to use the train. It’s not only meant for passengers. I have travelled on very cheap overcrowded train trips in West Africa and Asia, one will regret ever taking such decisions. How does the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge fulfill its policy plans.
It was primarily for haulage, to ease the pressure on the Lagos-ibadan express road and the Lagos ports.
Too many trailers on the expressway will definitely shorten its lifespan. Toll gates will eventually be constructed on the expressway to divert haulage traffic to the railway. Passengers will have a choice either the comfort of the train coaches or take the road trips .
Ayo Abdul argued that when governent “was bent on going ahead, we suggested Public/Private partnership but sadly we were the enemies.
Without gloating, I have posts to this effect. I even said that the trains will pack up withing 3-5yrs, Nigeria will be left with the burden on loan repayment for years with no trains to enjoy.
We are not enemies, we love Nigeria. We are experts in our fields for a reason.
Who in their right sense would boad a N2,000 train to ibadan when busses are cheaper. Who would even board it for a fee with the news of regular breakdown in the middle of nowhere on Abuja-Kaduna route?
We plan ahead, not after. China and Nigerian politicians have made their money, the burden has been passed to citizens already. Appeal to government is too late now.”
“Everything in Nigeria is always the opposite of what is obtainable all over the world, rail travel is safest and the most affordable all over the world, but here, I do not understand. Chinese loan? Did I hear that? Must you kill the masses because you collected loan? If people failed to use the train, how would the government pay the loan? I dont even know the kind of policies we run in this country, for you to attract a bigger percentage of the customers, your price has to be affordable, that will allow you to control the market and gradually you can increase price because people now see the service you’re rendering.”
Sunday Oluwafemi Odunsi
“I don’t believe reducing the fare will solve any problem as people will still complain. What needs to be done is to introduce varieties of tickets. For example if a single ticket is N3,000, let return ticket be N5,000 instead of N6,000.”
Ade Kaz: “This is a miscalculated insult on the masses. What is the essence of rail system if it is more expensive than road transport? People think of comfort when things are okay. With the economic situation in Nigeria presently, the rail cost should be cheaper than road system; otherwise, the aim is defeated.” For the blogger here talking about Chinese loan is nonsense.This is Government and not limited liability company. It is only in Nigeria l see that government is about money and not service.”