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Rail system: A tool to counter post-subsidy transport hurdles

President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the end of fuel subsidy in Nigeria in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023, saying that there was…

President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the end of fuel subsidy in Nigeria in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023, saying that there was no provision for it in the 2023 appropriation bill. This singular pronouncement has brought untold hardship on average Nigerians; inflation, drop in purchasing power and high cost of transportation across the width and length of the country. Although, experts say that such sacrifices must be endured for the country to move forward and the subsidies can no longer justify their ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources, but some expedited measures are needed to help cushion the effect. 

In the president’s attempt to bring succour, a sum of N500 billion has been provided from the supplementary budget of N819 billion for the provision of palliatives. The attempt has raised a lot of concerns amongst Nigerians.

However, the recent not-too-good experience of how some unpatriotic elements misused and or looted all palliative packages graciously offered by the previous administration and went scot-free is still haunting us.  

In my humble opinion, rail transportation is a viable option that, if considered, will be a viable   solution for reducing the untold hardship presently being experienced by the populace. It has the potential to be more cost-effective and sustainable, looking at the current circumstances.

It would also give more life to our roads. Most of the trucks that too often damage our roads would be off. Rail system can transport large numbers of passengers or goods in a single trip. It also has a higher capacity compared to other modes of transportation. This efficiency can no doubt help reduce the current predicament and force inflation down. Hence, the cost of commodities will drastically reduce especially in the transportation of consumables from one location to another.  

I, therefore, call on the government to put more effort into ensuring the quick completion of all rail projects in the country. It can also, in the interim provide mass transit in both urban and rural areas for easy and cheaper movement. 

 

Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani, Galadima Mahmoud Street, Kasuwar-Kaji Azare, Bauchi State 

 

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