Business a.m.

Nigeria’s transport minister charges NRC on passenger train, freight statistics

- Mike Ochonma

ROTIMI AMAE CHI, NIGERIA’S minister of transporta­tion, has directed the management of Nigeria Railway Corporatio­n (NRC) to provide periodic statistics of the number of passengers it moves.

The minister gave the directive while fielding questions from newsmen after the inspection tour of the completed 157 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project that was newly commission­ed by President Muhammadu last month. He demanded that the NRC should also intensify efforts on its operations along new the Itakpe-Warri passenger and freight movement operations including the Abuja-Kaduna service.

The minister regretted that the breakdown of operations along the Kaduna-Abuja trains was due to late arrival of spare parts from China. This is even as he revealed that the Lagos-Ibadan trains conveyed 42,000 passengers in the month of June. He disclosed that some spare parts that are being expected for the Lagos-Ibadan trains will be used for the KadunaAbuj­a train locomotive­s when they arrive.

According to Rotimi Amaechi, “After the last breakdown of the Kaduna-Abuja train, I instructed the Nigerian Railway Corporatio­n (NRC) to rest that particular locomotive. I am surprised that there was a delay related to another breakdown in the early hours of today.

He stated that issue with the break-down of the Kaduna-Abuja train is due to lack of maintenanc­e which is not unconnecte­d to a lack of spare parts from China. “We have written to Mr President on this issue and he has graciously approved the purchase of spare parts for the Lagos-Ibadan trains’’.

Very soon he promised, the Chinese people will supply enough spare parts for the Lagos-Ibadan rail. By the time that is done, some of these spare parts for the Kaduna-Abuja trains and hopefully, the issue of incessant breakdown of the trains will be resolved.

“On the Lagos-Ibadan trains, 42,000 passengers were moved in June.

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