(September 3, 2016) The first cattle train service from the northern part of the country on Saturday arrived in Lagos. The train which left Gusua in Zamfara state in the early hours of Friday carrying 375 cattle arrived the abattoir in Agege, a suburb of Lagos.
The atmosphere at the abattoir in lju area of Agege which is usually a beehive of activities became fully charged when the train came to a halt.
Owners of the cattle, breeders, officials of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Lagos State ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders surrounded the train with their faces beaming with smiles.
The 15 wagon cattle train had 25 cows in each wagon, with three off loaded in Abeokuta, Ogun state before heading to Lagos.
Off loading the cattle became an issue among owners as they were confused identifying their individual stock.
There were also complaints by stakeholders involved in receiving the cattle as they were not fully briefed on the arrival time of the train.
Alhaji Ababukar Sidi and Mallam Albash Alhami said they were surprised to see the train at the time.
The 36 hours journey according to the Director of operations, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Mr. Niyi Alli was worth the while despite some teething problems noticed.
Mallam Disu Gumal, an investor in the abattoir while expressing joy over the unprecedented train service urged the Federal Government to replicate it all over the country.
Before now, depending on the state the cattle is transported from, a trailer load of 30 cows cost a minimum of N300-350 (are you sure this is the cost?) per trip, a cost now reduced for sellers by the train movement.
The cattle train service is expected to move once a week from the north to Lagos bringing in cattle and going back with cement or fertilizers.
Train services of this nature will reduce pressure on the roads across the country thereby making them to last longer.