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Train Passengers Flood Park Station Over Free Ride

A lot of people have flooded train park stations over free rides declared by the federal government on Friday, December 24, 2021, slated to end on January 4, 2022.

At the Idu and Kubwa stations in Abuja, for instance, the terminals were filled to the brim around 5.30 pm on Friday, as hundreds of travellers patiently waited for the 6:00 pm and 6.15 pm train service.

Officials at the stations said the train, scheduled to head to Kaduna from Abuja, would be completely filled, going by the crowd at the stations.

“The announcement of free train service, of course, mainly caused this crowd you are seeing here. But unfortunately, some of them don’t have tickets and we hope they can get it to join the train,” an official at the Idu station, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

All the seats at both the Idu and Kubwa terminals were occupied on Friday evening, as hundreds of passengers had to stand within and outside the terminals waiting for the train.

The Federal Government announced on Friday the free train service in a notice issued by the Nigerian Railway Corporation with reference number PRO.14/TROPS/VOL.1/50 and signed by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, NRC, Yakub Mahmood.

The free train service was approved by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, according to the NRC, as it stressed that the gesture was for all its passenger train services across the country.

The NRC said, “The Federal Government through Ministry of Transportation has in the spirit of Christmas declared passenger trains across the Nigerian Railway Corporation system free of charge during the Christmas period to enable Nigerians to travel and celebrate Christmas.

“All the passenger trains on both standard and narrow gauge lines, which include Abuja to Kaduna, Lagos to Ibadan, Warri to Itakpe, Kano to Lagos, Minna to Kaduna, Aba to Port-Harcourt routes are now all free from today Friday, December 24, 2021, to Tuesday, January 4, 2022, inclusive.”

The NRC, however, explained that all due processes required to get boarding tickets must be complied with and that the tickets would not be paid for.

It also stated that all COVID-19 protocols must be strictly observed on board the trains.

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