The President of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has given approval for the extension of the free train service until Sunday, January 7.
President Tinubu had on December 20, approved a 50 percent discount for inter-state road travels, and 100 percent for train trips, for Nigerians travelling to celebrate Christmas and New Year with their families.
The federal government had communicated that the president aimed to facilitate domestic travel for citizens during the yuletide season without the strain of high transport costs. The discounted train service was initially planned to be available from December 21 to January 4, 2024.
But, the minister of solid minerals development, Dele Alake, said about 163,878 Nigerians have enjoyed the transportation rebate introduced by the federal government.
In a Thursday statement, Minister of Transportation, Said Ahmed Alkali announced that the president had issued a directive to extend the free train rides, aiming to enable more Nigerians to benefit from the service.
“While over 163,000 Nigerians benefited from successful first leg of the yuletide initiative, President Tinubu, in further demonstration of his care for the welfare of Nigerians, directed that the free train service should be made available for extra 3 days to allow more Nigerians to take the advantage,” the statement reads.
“The public is advised to note that this extension applies to all three routes currently being serviced by the Nigerian Railway Corporation as follows: Lagos – Ibadan, Warri -Itakpe and Abuja – Kaduna.
“It is hoped that Nigerians who are interested in travelling by rail will take full advantage of this unique opportunity aimed at enhancing people’s welfare.”