Senate seeks to revive railway corporation
A bill seeking to revive the comatose Nigerian Railways Corporation scaled second reading on the floor of the Senate yesterday.
Sponsored by Senator Andy Uba (PDP, Anambra), the bill is proposing repeal and re-enact the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act laws of the Federation of Nigeria and to enact the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act 2013 for the efficient railway system in Nigeria and other matters.
Presenting the bill to his colleagues, Senator Uba said the new law was aimed at re-establishling the railway as a key driver in the transport sector by transforming the Nigeria Railway Corporation from a non- performing and debt ridden corporation to a dynamic player in the transport sector.
He said, “there is no doubt that a railway Act that meets the current realities is long overdue and this bill seeks to address the existing deficiencies in the existing Act and bring the law that administers railways in conformity with present day realities and International best practices
Senator Uba lamented that the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) said it is working on establishing a customer call centre, even as government has tasked it on adequate metering. Nigerian Railway Corporation which used to be an effective and cheaper means of tranportation for carriage of goods and passengers in the early 60s and 70s was seriously neglected and abandoned.
He further explained that the country has a lot of benefits to derive from the revival of the railway transport system, which he noted, would ensure cheaper transportation of persons, goods and animals which in turn brings about lowering of the cost of living within the country
Uba listed the drivable benefits to include generation of 20,000 skilled
The Managing Director of the Distribution Company (Disco), Mr Neil Croucher, disclosed this recently when he and other management officials paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Abuja.
The aim of the
visit, jobs, about 40,000 semi- skilled jobs nationwide and will also provide a legal framework for the most effective, affordable, energy saving and environmentally friendly form of transportation of foods and services across the country
According him, “one of the causes of damages to our roads is the frequent use of the roads by heavily loaded long trucks. This is vividly evident on Lokoja to Abuja road and many other roads in the country”.
The bill was referred to the Committee on land Transport for further legislative action to be returned in four weeks. according to a statement issued on yesterday by the Commission’s Head of Public Affairs, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, was to intimate the Commission on the company’s vision in the light of the expectations of electricity customers and the industry at large.
Croucher, in his address disclosed that the company was in the process of establishing a call centre to deal with consumer related issues.
The delegation also hinted of its desire to change the name of the company and rebrand it for better and efficient performance. Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State has warned officials of the State Board of Internal Revenue against tampering with internally generated revenues, saying that the government will no longer tolerate diversion of its revenues.
Speaking yesterday during the inauguration of Taxpayer Biometric Card Registration System in Kaduna, Yero urged the board to ensure that eligible people pay their tax in accordance to the stipulation of the law.
He said: “It is not unfair to allow your friends pay less tax. So, everybody should pay what the law stipulates because that is the only way we can move forward. If we want to develop our state we must pay tax because there is nobody that does not generate an income, however little.”
While mentioning that the state used to generate N1billion from tax on a monthly basis, he directed the board to widen its scope and get more people captured in the new taxpayer bio-metric card so as to be able to raise its collection to N3 billion monthly.
From left: Chairperson House Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa; Finance Minister/ Coordinating Minister of Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Prof. Manny C. Aniebonam, during the commissioning of Global Distance Learning Institute in Abuja yesterday. ABUBAKAR YAKUBU