The Federal Government will tomorrow (Saturday), commence a three months free train ride on the just concluded Iju-Abeokuta axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge railway project, ROYAL NEWS has gathered.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi made the declaration for free three months ride at a brief ceremony to mark the completion of the Iju-Abeokuta axis of the Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project, Lagos-Ibadan Section.
“Passengers would enjoy free train ride to and from Lagos and Abeokuta free of charge for three months,” he said.
The Minister also noted that the free train ride is a way of test-running the track, and also solicit for votes for the President Mohammadu Buhari’s term bid.
According to him, “This is not a commissioning ceremony. We just decided to put this train on the track to convey passenger free of charge for three months.”
He further urged the people to re-elect President Mohammadu Buhari to enable the government take the track further to Ibadan and beyond.
The Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said the project is not about politics but about service to the people of the nation
“This project is not about politics. It is about service to the people. But, if you want the infrastructural development to continue, you should reelect Buhari” he said.
Also speaking, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, expressed contentment over the project, disclosing that his house is very close to the rail track, and was at the event to see what the government used what used to be the natives’ hunting ground for.
He however expressed satisfaction and Co tenement at what he saw.
“My house is somewhere in that direction not far from here, and this used to be part of our hunting ground. And so, I came to see for what my hunting ground was appropriated and so far I am so content”, Soyinka said.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Marine and Land Transport, Gbenga Ashafa, said the test-run is pre-commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail project to show Nigerians that the Buhari administration has delivered on its promise of developing the nation’s infrastructure for economic growth.
He said about 9000 Nigerians are billed to be employed when the project takes off fully.
The lawmaker added that, “You can see the movement and how comfortable the Coaches are, all this will now translate into economic activities, in form of generation of employment, when this project was awarded the information I had was that 9000 Nigerians would be employed directly and indirectly.”
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