Mr Femi Aina, the father of a National Youth Service Corps member, Oreoluwa, who was one of those who died in the Lagos train crash has said the lingering naira scarcity contributed to the unfortunate situation that led to his daughter’s unfortunate death.
Last Thursday, a Lagos State Government staff bus collided with a train in the PWD area of the state, leading to the death of some passengers with many hospitalised after suffering severe injuries.
In an interview with The PUNCH, Aina said his daughter did not usually board the staff bus every day, but did not have enough cash on her on that fateful day.
The PUNCH reports that the naira scarcity following the redesigning of the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria has pushed many Nigerians to hardships.
The Supreme Court has however invalidated the new naira design policy initiated by the Federal Government on the grounds that it was not done with due consultation and in line with constitutional provisions.
The apex court on March 3, ordered that the old naira notes shall continue to be used side by side with the new naira notes till December 31, 2023.
The court held that the three months timeline was also not in tune with the CBN’s Act and as such unconstitutional.
“I know she boarded the staff bus, but not every day. If not for this cashless policy, she would not have followed that bus. But she did not have cash, so she had to follow the bus. She had just N200. They just kill people anyhow in this country,” Oreoluwa’s father told our correspondent.
Speaking on how he got to know of the incident, he said, “I was in Abuja watching the television around 9am when I saw the incident. An hour after that, I got a call that my daughter was involved in it. That was when I knew what I saw on TV was actually happening to me. Then, I immediately called my younger brother and sister in Lagos. I later received two more calls in another 10 minutes and by then, she was already in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). They were attending to her and at the same time calling me from there. I even heard some of the staff members praying for her. So, I rushed to the airport to get any available flight back to Lagos but when my plane was ready to take off by 4 pm, I was told that she had passed away.”
He revealed how Oreoluwa was to proceed for her Master’s degree programme abroad after the NYSC programme.
“She planned to travel to the United Kingdom for her Master’s programme, and she was already into catering. She was part of a thrift society and they even called me from there yesterday to inform me about it. She was saving money to start a mobile food business,” he said.
The father added that even though her daughter had plans to study more, she was also trying to do quite a number of things.
“She was also into music and she recorded in the studio. We are members of The Apostolic Church and she was a staunch member. I learnt she was even the one that led the song last Sunday. She had so many plans and she was just about to fly. It was just this youth service which is mandatory that she wanted to complete and then fly,” the father added.