Thursday, December 10, 2020

Lagos-Ibadan Train Fare, Another Sign Of Cruel Leadership - Rotimi Johnson(Ojasope) | Southwest-frontier News


December 10, 2020
As much as I commend this present administration for various attempts to revamp the rail transportation, I must not also shy from giving this deserved knock too. Traditionally in Nigeria, Trains are far cheaper than other means of transportation and enjoyed more patronage for long distances. It was always a delight for me to travel from Lagos to Kano as a teenager and I loved rail travel so much that even Abeokuta to Ibadan was by rail for me. My parents were more comfortable with rail travels too and they don't have to wait till an adult can accompany me before I can travel. However, when I heard the news of N3000 fare for Lagos to Ibadan train, I could only hiss and move to read the next thing.

Sometimes when our leaders make decisions, you will wonder if they are so disconnected from the people they are supposed to lead. Otherwise, how would you explain using public funds to provide a service that is monotonic, ready mass patronage and making the ticket so exorbitant? It's not as if the train will even have shorter time than the commercial buses which are about 3 times cheaper than the train. Yes the gridlock on the road to Lagos is hellic but that doesn't mean many people would prefer to spend 3 times more for a journey of about 70min which will take the train about 140min (twice that of road without traffic hold-ups, according to the maiden trip).

That this present Federal administration is insensitive is an understatement, it is the most disconnected, cruel, uncoordinated and most unrealistic in expectations from the populace. All government provided but epileptic services have gone up while means of livelihood have gone out of reach; power supply/tarrif, fuel pump price, VAT fees, educational collapse, security breakdown, foodstuffs prices are astronomical and percentage unemployment is on record high. So, if not delusional and with unrealistic expectations, how do you explain such high fare for train in Nigeria?

The supposedly removed subsidy from petroleum seems like huge joke because after admitting to the removal more than twice, Federal government still comes up with price regimes rather than allowing market forces determine the price per time. So, don't be surprised if the train fare is so high because it has been seriously padded and interests of many ghostly stakeholders have been factored into the fare.

I know those sympathetic of this administration would come in defense of all that is being done as usual but the interesting thing is that they are not exempted from the hardship faced by others; we are united in the fraternity of suffering but not in the complains, which is why our Mumu can never stop in Nigeria.

I remembered Rotimi Amaechi's radical speech at Babangida Aliu's 60th birthday where he called for revolution because he was in opposition within the ruling party but since he joined the APC, he has become so insensitive and dogmatic that he's championing the construction of rail to link Niger Republic; just imagine such white elephant project with public funds.

One day, it won't be call for just #EndSars, it might just be call for #EndNigeria because there is a limit to attempting to fool all the people all the time. 

LEADERSHIP QUOTE: Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. -Barack Obama

Rotimi Johnson -Ojasope

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