Despite the high tariffs, within a month of operations, the patronage of the new Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge service has risen to 187 passengers, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said.
This is just as the Federal Government insisted there is no going back on the train fares, which it said are fair and affordable to the commuting public.
NRC Managing Director Fidet Okhiria, who spoke at the weekend on the sidelines of the inspection of the project, said the passengers’ turnout was improving.
The NRC started commercial operations on December 7 with the train service taking off from Ibadan in Oyo State in the morning and returning in the evening.
But the first trip recorded only one passenger and the return trip had eight.
Many Nigerians have called for downward review of the fares, which they said were too high.
The train service costs between N2,500 for economy, N5,000 for Business Class and N6,000 for First Class coaches.
Justifying the high fares, Okhiria said: “For us to sustain the service, we have to charge reasonable prices. We are going to pay allowances to our workers. Even though government pays workers’ salaries, those who work extra hours out of stations have to be paid allowances.”Follow us on social media