Gbenro Adegbola, an educational book publisher and social critique, has narrated his experience at Lagos and Ibadan rail stations.
In a Twitter thread he released on Monday, Adegbola condemned the lack of comfort and courtesy for passengers.
He had used the Ibadan-Lagos train service the first time on Saturday, May 8, and then on Monday. Gbenro narrated how his wife almost fell at the Lagos station while working on rail tracks in the dark.
“While I commend the FG on providing this service, I’m appalled at the lack of respect & courtesy for citizens. No comfortable temporary arrangements have been made. In Ibadan ticketing is done under the open skies. Passengers then have to carry their luggage through construction areas to get to the platforms,” he said.
“The worst experience is the Lagos end. We arrived Lagos at 8.30pm. Imagine our horror to find we had to walk over 100meters on rail tracks to the station in pitch darkness. My wife almost fell descending the track aggregate ballasts.
“What does it cost to make a temporary wooden or steel walk way along the side of the perimeter wall? This afternoon on the return journey an old woman fell on the ballast and ripped her slippers. She had to walk barefoot to the train before she got another pair from her luggage.
I used the Ibadan-Lagos train service for the 1st time this last Saturday 8th May. I returned by the 4 o’clock service today.
While I commend the FG on providing this service, I’m appalled at the lack of respect & courtesy for citizens.
The 2 stations are construction yards!
— Gbénró Adégbolá ن (@GbenroAdegbola) May 10, 2021
Gbenro said the prevalence of such distasteful scenarios in Nigeria is a result of arrogance on the part of government officials who believe provision of very basic amenities is a luxury citizens need be thankful for.
“It’s like we’ve given you rail service; better be grateful for it and take it,” he wrote.
“Nursing mothers babies in hand, old infirm Babas, weak old ladies all clambering over the ballast mounds. We’re passengers not construction workers nao!
“It’s the same arrogance that we see at road constructions. Contractors tear up the road without any consideration for the convenience of residents.”
The $1.5 billion Lagos-Ibadan railway covers 156km between Lagos and Ibadan, two of Nigeria’s largest cities. The project commenced in 2017, and was ready for trial services in late 2020 ahead of 2021 inauguration.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.