The Federal Government’s offering of complimentary transportation across the country , during the festive season has sparked diverse reactions amongst Nigerians.

Abuja – Kaduna Train Service

The announcement was initially met with mixed feeling. But since its commencement, the initiative has seen both positive experiences and some setbacks for some passengers.

A passenger at the Kubwa Train Station in Abuja

The announcement was initially met with mixed feeling. But since its commencement, the initiative has seen both positive experiences and some setbacks for some passengers.

Investigating the situation firsthand, the Click Naija crew visited the Kubwa Train Station in Abuja on January 2nd, 2023. Conversations with passengers revealed a range of experiences

An NRC staff at the Kubwa train station closes a coach in preparation for it’s departure

While a first-time train user Adama Aliyu, heading to Kaduna praised the smooth ticketing process and the pleasant journey, another traveler, Joseph Atagwoba, lamented the hassles faced during ticket acquisition. He added that the stress was much and made him even willing to pay just to have access the tickets. He however, got the free tickets eventually.

Rufai Abutu, another passenger, alleged that officials of the train station in Kaduna, are possibly stock up on the free tickets and resell them at a price to passengers. Thereby making profit for themselves and creating a bad name for the government. He said the attitude of Nigerians add on making government initiatives successful or not. He lamented his inability to secure tickets online and onsite at the Kaduna station due to purported sell-outs, only to be offered tickets at an increased price of 5000 Naira.

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He accused some railway officials of undermining the Federal Government’s intentions to ease the burden on Nigerians. He said that Nigerians themselves are corrupt and called on Nigerians to work on themselves and change their ways.

Former Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani who was returning to Abuja from Kaduna, commended the government for the initiative but urged future involvement of trade unions to ensure transparency in the process.

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Reacting to complaints by some passengers, the operations manager Abuja- Kaduna Train Services, Abdulaziz Mohammed said  the operations have been going smoothly with no complaints. He however said once the train is filled to capacity, people would normally not have access to the tickets.

He clarified that apart from individuals facing issues with their National Identification Numbers NIN or third-party tickets, no passengers had been left stranded.

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Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Committee on the Implementation of the End of Year Transportation Subsidy Programme, Dele Alake, stated that the initiative had served over 160,000 passengers across the country.

The transportation rebate program which began on December 27th, ends on 4th of January 2024, with more expectation from Nigerians as the year unfolds.

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