By Abdullateef Aliyu,
The free train ride announced last Friday by the minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on the Lagos-Abeokuta section of the Lagos Ibadan standard gauge rail being test-run is yet to commence, Daily Trust checks revealed.
The free service to be run by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) were to commence on Saturday, a day after a ceremonial train ride by Amaechi and other dignitaries including the Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.
The section being test-run is 62 kilometres beginning from Iju in Lagos which is Kilometre 21 to Kilometre 82 at Laderin, Abeokuta in Ogun state.
Many residents had looked forward to the free service as from Saturday.
But checks by our correspondent showed that the service is yet to commence as at Monday.
Sources disclosed that the NRC management today decided to print tickets for the services with a view to control the crowd of people that are likely to turn up for the free service.
One of the sources said, “We are envisaging that many people would turn up for the free service and to control the crowd, the management met today (Monday) and decided that large amount of tickets should be printed for the service.
“The ticket would be ready today or latest tomorrow (Tuesday). With the tickets available, we can manage the crowd that would show up for the free ride. Once the coaches are filled, we will stop issuing tickets until another train comes”.
When contacted, spokesman of the NRC, Mahmood Yakubu confirmed that the free services would commence this week unfailingly, saying tickets were being printed for the services.