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FG invests N3bn to improve railway service

By on August 28, 2013

The Federal Government has invested additional N3 billion on Nigeria Railway by acquiring two telescopic railway cranes and four new locomotives to enhance service delivery in the sector.

The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Coprporation, NRC Engr. Adeseyi Sijuade disclosed this in Lagos while addressing news men at an event to flag-off container transportation from Lagos to Kaduna and Kano.

According to him, the telescopic cranes cost N1 billion each while the four new locomotives cost N250 million each.

He said the corporation will from 23rd of August, 2013 commence the haulage of bulk salt and sugar belonging to Dangote Nigeria Plc, to Kaduna and Kano, heralding a re-launch of the intercity container freight operations seventeen years after it grounded such operations.

Speaking further, Sijuade said it is another milestone in the corporation’s rehabilitation efforts and the government’s ports decongestion drive.

He said, “This day will go down in the annals of history of the corporation as a day we recommenced NRC’s active participation in the lifting of container cargos from the ports to hinterland and in enhancing in the ports decongestion drive.”

He added that, “It also becomes a milestone in our record of achievements regarding addition of four locomotives to be known as Class 23 Locomotives into our fleet of locomotives. We are also better equipped to deal with emergencies, with the two new tons railway cranes.”

He explained that the acquisition of the new facilities is part of the federal government’s continued and sustained drive at transforming the nation’s socio-economic development through a strong and formidable rail transport system.

“We are today demonstrating our ability in expanding our horizon and service level with the flag-off of this train-load of 20 container wagons from Apapa Wharf to Kaduna/Kano for the Inland Container Nigeria Limited, ICNL.”

Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Transport, represented by the Chairman, Board of Directors, NRC Alhaji Kau Baraje while commending the corporation for the feat said the rehabilitation of the 1126km western rail line has made it possible for more improvements to be recorded in the sector adding that it shall be sustained to make for a vibrant railway system.

“The successful completion of the western rail line has made it possible for the corporation to be introducing, one after another, freight and passenger train services. You will recall that the third weekly Lagos to Kano intercity passenger train service was introduced barely a month ago to scale up a number of services already being offered. We are pleased with the responses of customers and passengers who use them,” he said.

Baraje who disclosed that the corporation would deliver additional 200 wagons for the freight services by December this year, added that with the addition of the new facilities into the corporation’s asset base, “Nigerians will reap a bountiful dividends of democracy through a vibrant railway system.”