The sustainability of the free train service being sponsored by the State government during festive periods is aimed at easing the financial burden on Osun citizens who wish to travel home to celebrate with families and loved ones.
This is according to the State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Dr. Bode Olaonipekun.
Olaonipekun said the State government was also investing in the scheme as part of efforts to restore the lost glory of the rail transport service, in line with its economic resolve to ensure seamless transportation of agricultural produce, semi-finished and finished goods to neighbouring states.
This is even as the beneficiaries of the free train service provided by the government threw their weights behind the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the state.
The government had last week Friday provided the free train service for the Easter holidaymakers from Lagos to Osogbo, the state capital in fulfillment of its avowed commitment to champion the citizens’ needs.
Recall that the administration of Governor Oyetola had on assumption of office ordered the continuation of the free train service inherited from the previous administration as part of efforts to meet the transportion needs of the citizens living outside the state particularly during the festivities.
Speaking during the return of the train in Osogbo terminus of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Olaonipekun noted that the need to continue to invest in the sector was informed by the actualisation of the administration’s resolve to turn Osun to socioeconomic, commercial and industrial hub of the southwest region.
Olaonipekun who said the administration of Governor Oyetola was poised to turn Osun to food-basket of the region, noted that the vision could only be achieved and taken to fruition if the necessity is done to revatilise the moribund sector.
According to him, some of the positive results of the recently convocated Osun Investment and Economic Summit premised on the need for the state to revamp its agriculture sector could only be achieved if the rail sector was properly resucitated.
“The essence of this initiative is to further demonstrate the administration’s commitment to people’s welfare. Like I have said, the welfare of the people is paramount to the present administration.
“This initiative is another effort by the state government to lessen financial burdens which some of the holidaymakers do experience during festive periods. We all know the rate of the expenditure of individuals during festive periods, hence the need for this initiative.
“The foundation of this scheme is functional as the state government has plans to take raw materials and semi-finished products from Osun to Lagos and bring finished products back to Osun.
“But as it is now, the narrative is changing because by the Grace of God, finished products and raw materials will go from Osun to other states particularly Lagos rather than the other way round.
“With this vision, Osun will start exporting finished products very soon,” he added.
In their separate remarks, some of the beneficiaries of the free train service that spoke to journalists on Monday, while returning to their destinations commended the initiative and promised to continue to support the administration of Governor Oyetola.
Prince Oloyede Wasiu Adedayo; Mrs Omoyele Nafisat; Miss Oluwafela Bibire; Miss Alimi Iyanuoluwa and Mr. Oluwafela Fasoro, all travellers, expressed satisfaction on the mechanism put in place by the government to ensure the success of the scheme since its inception.