NRC lists factors that affect train operations

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria has said that the cost of diesel and security challenges along some corridors were affecting train operations in Nigeria.

This was as he said that, the much-awaited Kaduna-Kano train service will commence operations in the first quarter of 2024.

The MD disclosed this during an inspection at the Rigasa train station, Kaduna following recent cases of vandalization on the Abuja-Kaduna corridor.

He said, “The Kaduna-Kano train is coming up, the track has gotten to Makarfi Local Government Area from Kano and we are hoping that by early next year, people will be able to arrive from Abuja to Kano.”

The MD however lamented how the rising cost of diesel and insecurity is hindering train operations.

He said: “When we started, the patronage was high but after the incident in March 2023, things stepped down. We were running 10 trains then but after the incident and also because of the rising cost of diesel, we had to limit the number of trains.

“At the time we started, diesel was between N230 to N280 per litre, it now costs between N1,000 to N2,000 depending on the supplier and because rail is for the people, the government decided to maintain the price so that people from what the government is providing.”

On vandalism, he said: “The federal government is taking measures to further secure the train and other components. We are on top of the insecurity situation, we are in talking with the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies to further provide more security for our customers because many people ride the train and also against incessant removal of sleeper on the track.”

“Security is a top priority because our trains also carry goods, for instance, we are carrying pipelines from Itakpe in Warri, and we have started carrying containers from Lagos to Kaduna, Lagos to Idah and Lagos to Kano, so be general surveillance on all stations. We will continue to liaise with security agencies to ensure rail is taken seriously, as right now, we provide air surveillance on the Abuja-Kaduna train and sooner or later, it will be extended to other parts.”

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