The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced free train rides on all its passenger services, starting Thursday, December 21, 2023, until Thursday, January 4, 2024.
This initiative, directed by President Bola Tinubu, aims to facilitate travel during the Christmas and New Year holidays, with a parallel approval for a 50% reduction in interstate bus fares.
Passengers are required to obtain their free tickets exclusively through online e-ticketing platforms, and tickets will not be issued at train stations. The NRC emphasizes that boarding the train without a ticket will not be permitted. Commuters are urged to adhere to security personnel instructions and NRC guidelines at stations and on trains.
President Tinubu’s intervention is part of efforts to alleviate transportation costs during the festive season, recognizing the challenges faced by many Nigerians. The Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Alake, revealed the President’s commitment to reducing the hardship associated with high transport costs during holiday periods.
In addition to the free train rides, a 50% discount on current road transport costs will be implemented for minibusses and luxury buses, effective Thursday. Train services on various routes will also be zero-cost for the holiday season, benefiting major inter-state transportation hubs.
The Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Saidu Alkali, assured the public that the Ministry would work with transport companies to efficiently implement the cost reduction measures. Security agencies, including the police, Department of State Services, and the military, have been directed to collaborate to ensure the safety of lives and property during the festive period.
President Tinubu’s commitment reflects an ongoing effort to address the challenges faced by Nigerians during national holidays, with a focus on sustainable interventions beyond individual occasions.