The State Government of Osun has said over 100,000 people have benefited from free train rides to indigenes and non-indigenes alike during the festive periods in the last 6 years of the current administration.
Speaking to newsmen in Osogbo on Wednesday, the Commissioner for Commerce, Co-Op & Empowerment, Hon. Ismail Jayeoba-Alagbada revealed that the state through his ministry has consistently provided free train rides during New Year Celebrations, Easter Period, Eid-el-Kabir, Eid-el-Fitri and Christmas celebrations.
On its 31st edition, Alagbada noted that the initiative has not only saved beneficiaries the cost of transportation during the yuletide season, but has also offered a more secure route to commuters at a period when the roads are expected to the extremely busy.
“Since inception, over 100,000 people have benefited from this initiative and many have urged government to continue because it’s a brilliant idea.
“The economic benefit derived from transporting people to Osun for the festive period cannot only be quantified in monetary terms, but in the other critical areas of intervention. It is a matter of fact that, the free train rides helps the desperately poor by removing the burden of bearing their transportation cost to the state."
Meanwhile, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Rebecca Omidiran noted that she has been consistent in using the free train ride for the past 4 years.
“I look forward to this free ride every festive season. How do you expect me to cover the cost of transporting four of my children and my younger sister who stays with me to Osun every festive period? In fact, this is the only reason I visit Osun every festive period.” Mrs. Omidiran said.
According to Alagbada, the train which left Lagos for Osogbo today, will on Monday, September 4, 2017, convey people from the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park Station, Osogbo to the Ido Terminus, Lagos by 10 A.M for the return leg.