The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said the federal government had increased the fare for train services by 100 per cent nationwide. Commuters on the economy class are expected now pay N3, 000 while first-class travellers will pay N6, 000. A few days after the beginning of the new price regime, some Nigerians speak to Daily Trust Saturday their views on the new development.
Abubakar Muhammad Kabo, 32, Civil Servant
People are struggling to survive even before the COVID-10 pandemic hit us. The government should have reduced the price by half, instead, they decided to increase the fare, which is unfortunate.
Isn’t the train transport supposed to be cheaper than road transportation? I pray may God make it easy for Nigerians.
Muhammed Nuru, Former Chairman Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Plateau State
The government should reverse its decision to increase train fares as people are already suffering and going through different hardships. Increasing the fare would add to their suffering. As we are all aware, many people travel during the festive season and many prefer the train services. How will people cope? The government should just reverse its decision.
Hudu Yakubu, Broadcaster, Abuja, 34
The government said its decision to double the train fare from Abuja to Kaduna was to keep to the guidelines of COVID-19 safety protocol. This action is anti-human because looking at the current reality on the ground, nothing seems to be working well, people are suffering, some are finding it difficult to eat especially now that the Coronavirus is hitting the world. The government should have found a way to assist people in a way that would cushion the economic hardship they are facing. If people can’t afford daily meals, how do they expect them to pay such amount for train fare?
The government should be pro-people and not anti-people. You can imagine what the private transporters will do if the government decides to go this direction, it’s so unfortunate.
Gbenle Mubarak, 24, Project Manager, Kaduna
Opening the rail station for train operations by the government is commendable. However, the increase in transport fare is not helpful. Government is supposed to ease things for the citizen especially when people are beginning to gradually pick up from the lockdown. If the fare is not too high, the masses may bare it compared to other means of transportation, which before Sallah were already hiked due to the social distance order.
Aisha Tayyu Ibrahim, 23, Journalist
The train ticket price increase is not a good idea
Normally a coach takes 88 persons and due to the Covid-19 protocols, it will be taking 40 persons. It’s heartless and insensitive to increase the fare because they are like literary blaming it on COVID-19. Nigerians are suffering because of the same COVID-19 and that’s only 1-2% out of 10% of their problems.
Musa Sunusi Ibrahim, 30, ICT
For me, the fare ought to have been reduced instead of an increase. Even though there is going to be a large number of travellers which may naturally cause an increase in the fare, but in a situation like this where people are suffering from economic hardship, I suggest the government should reduce the fare or at least leave it as it is.
Bilkisu Auwal, Kaduna, 27, Student
The masses can’t afford the increase. Government programmes, policies and services should serve the masses and not only the rich. I think the aim of establishing the rail system is now defeated if the prices get increased. The average Nigerian should be considered. Therefore, the government should subsidise railway services.
Nura Muhammed, Media Practitioner, 38, Abuja
It’s unfair. We are still battling with financial problems and the increase in train fares will bring nothing but more hardship for Nigerians.
Travellers will face serious issues and looking at the condition of the road (Abuja-Kaduna) and the security challenges on that road. The government shouldn’t have taken that decision. I think the authority concern should have a second thought and consider the masses.
Muinat Giwa, 26, Fashion Designer, Kaduna
Increasing the fare at this time is a bad decision. People are recovering from the financial impact of the lockdown imposed in the country, the government should have been considerate with the plight its citizens are going through. I hope the increase will be reviewed as time passes, because this may be the beginning of a continued price increase of train fare in the country.
Muhammad Bello, 26, Student
The increase in fare for travellers is unjust and condemnable. We all know for a fact that locomotives provide more secure and peaceful travel compared to road travelling. Meanwhile, making it not affordable to the common man makes us vulnerable to random kidnapping by bandit attacks which occur quite regularly these days. The government should make it affordable to the common man.