Early this week news were going round that that the Federal Government of Nigeria has declared that all train travel in Nigeria will be free from the 21st of December to the 4th of January. So I said let me try it out. I created account in their website and booked the train. At first it wasn’t successful because I chose standard class, later it went through when I booked the business class. All in all this is my experience.
1. Booking: Booking the tickets was hitch free. All you need is to create account at https://nrc.gsds.ng/login
Log in with your details. You need your BVN and phone number to book online. You can also book for friends and families once you have their BVN.
2. The Station: The train stations are still well maintained and many of the facilities are still in pretty good condition. However they are been underutilized. Maybe the NRC should let out some of the building at the stations to food vendors and shopping centres.
3. The Journey: The journey from Obafemi Awolowo Train Station to Ransome Kuti Station in Ebute Metta Lagos was fun. It took only 2 hours 30 minutes. I think the 30 minutes was for the stops at the stations along the way. The AC was chilly all through the journey and food is available for purchase in the train as no food is allowed to be brought on board.
4. Security: There is adequate provision for safety both at the train station and on the train. Nigerian Army personnel and NSDCD officials were all on ground.
5. The Vibes: The Vibes at the stations and on board the train was cool. The government should be commended for the free train as this is one of the benefits of being a citizen.
Lastly, the government should extend the train tracks to other parts of the country so that the dividend of good governance can be felt by all and sundry.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.