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Monday, March 4, 2024

Unbundling of NRC to make rail services efficient, effective, says Minister

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The unbundling of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) by the
Federal Government will make its services more efficient and effective.

Thie Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, was quoted as saying this when members of the NRC Governing Board paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

This is contained in a statement issued by Sambo’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Dr Sam Idiagbonya.

”The NRC cannot be the Owner, Operator and Regulator at the same time.

” The private sector is the engine of growth. Let someone else operate your lines efficiently. We cannot have an Agency that is Owner, Regulator and Operator at the same time,” the minister said .

On resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna train services, he said that commercial operations would resume after security measures were installed to forestall reoccurrence of train attacks in the country.

“We are looking at how the rail lines can be safe by putting 24 hours surveillance and immediate response apparatus.

”The security measures will include short and long term plans, with the short term plans taking effect from November.

”In addition to the security measures, promised Nigerians that rail services will become operational only when those kidnapped in the Abuja – Kaduna train service regained their freedom and are reunited with their families.

“I’ve told Nigerians that I will not run the services until every captive is released.

” We are lucky today, they are all released and reunited with their families. We are also lucky that all of them are back alive and were all given proper medical care”, the Minister added.

On infrastructure development in the country, the minister said no government has invested more in infrastructure than the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.

The Minister, further said a National Transportation Policy that would articulate a seamless transportation system for the country would soon be launched.

He then urged the board to ready itself by looking for alternative sources of cheaper and cleaner energy for the transport sector.
Earlier, the Chairman of the NRC board, Mr Ibrahim Musa informed the minister that due to the high cost of diesel, the cost of running the trains was so high, admitting, that they were running at a loss.

He called on the minister to intervene as the railway service was one of the things the present administration prides itself of, especially the Lagos – Ibadan, Warri – Itakpe and the Abuja-Kaduna railway lines.(NAN)

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