The Federal Government has approved charges on the new Lagos-Ibadan rail standard gauge which would begin full operations by January 2021.
The price is said to be an imitation of that being charged from Abuja to Kaduna. The price range goes from N3,000 per Economy seat, N5,000 for Business class and N6,000 for First class.
The Railway transportation solution is a good idea that is expected to reduce the crowded road system and offer an alternative to road transportation and is probably faster in getting to your said destination.
However, the price seems like a punch delivered by a boxer to his opponent and the government being the boxer in this situation, while the people being the opponent would either face the boxer and receive the blow to the face or would avoid any confrontation by playing the no-stress game when the ring is filled with sweats and blood and just pay the price in order to avoid the horrors of traffic on the road.
One would have expected that maybe after a while the price of the train tickets might be lower but does anything concerning price ever get reduced in Nigeria? Maybe it would increase instead. The good thing about this solution is that when you need to beat the traffic and you have an urgent thing to do in Ibadan or Lagos then the train system is your sure bet.
The train system is supposed to help ease the stress of not just traffic while travelling between Ibadan and Lagos but also facilitate the decongestion of Lagos and it’s the environment. If the train system is affordable like it should be for the masses then more people can live in Ibadan and work in Lagos or the other way around.
Also, the train system can bring about an increase in trading between the two states as people can easily move around.
However, maintenance is one area our government seems to be lacking in and this problem is fuelled by a change in government. The new government mostly means the abandonment of projects or the need for new initiatives cancelling out the old ones and this also affects maintenance.
So what maintenance system is in place for the train system to be sustainable?
How can we ensure that the railway system remains in good shape no matter the change in government or policy that may surface?
Having a railway system is one thing, having one that is fully functional, affordable and sustainable is another thing. Let’s just hope that there are actions in place to ensure the railway transportation program is a success.