Governor Adegboyega Oyetola who said the initiative had contributed significantly to the resuscitation and sustainability of the rail transport in the country, said the rail system would have died a natural death in western Nigeria but for Osun State intervention which has been providing free train rides for the people during festive periods.
Voice of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government had on Friday announced free train service to citizens across the country during the yuletide between 24th December, 2021 and 3rd January, 2022
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries of the freebies are hailing the government of Osun for sustaining the scheme over the years, as the train which conveyed the holiday makers to Osogbo, the state capital arrived safely on Friday evening.
According to the government source, no fewer than 2000 people benefited from the gesture from Lagos to Osogbo as passengers boarded and alighted between Lagos terminus and its destination at Osogbo terminus.
Addressing journalists after the arrival in Osogbo, the Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperative, Industry and Empowerment, Dr.
Bode Olaonipekun said Osun had contributed immensely to the sustainability of Nigerian rail transportation system.
He said the adoption of the free train service by the Nigerian Government was an attestation to the fact that Osun remains the pacesetter of good governance and pro-masses policies implementation.
Olaonipekun who described the gesture of the Federal Government as a welcome development noted that the sustainability of the scheme for about 12 years is an indication that the government is primarily concerned about the welfare and well-being of the citizens.
“The are lots of benefits in the free rail transportation system such as socio-welfare benefit for the masses, economic benefit for both Nigerian Railway System and people of the respective states at which the train service has either stopped over or stopped for maintenance.
“Beyond this, nationally, there is a major benefit that the State of Osun is bequeathing to the nation in general and the Nigerian Railway Corporation in particular because for about 12 years now, Osun has sustained the rail system in Nigeria.
“When there are non-existence or not performing at all in other different regions of the nation, the train from Lagos to Osun has been running effectively at lease three times in a year.
“This is commendable and I want to say it categorically that Osun has contributed immensely and significantly to the sustainability of Nigeria rail transportation system.
If it is worthy for us to have sustained this for about 12 years, so also, it worths something that can be recommended for the nation and as it is, the Federal Government has adopted it.
The Commissioner however implored the Railway Corporation to provide faster locomotives, urging the Federal Government to urgently extend the modern standard guage to Osun state.
Free Train Services: Osun Governor commends Nigerian Government