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Workers want railway rehabilitation sustained

By on April 7, 2015

Workers of Nigeria Railway Corporation have advised that the ongoing rehabilitation and modernisation of the railway transport sector be continued.

In a congratulatory message to the President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, the workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, expressed optimism that the sector would experience rapid development under the new administration.

The union said, “There is a need for the new administration to address the fate of the rail transport industry with a view to furthering the ongoing asset rehabilitation and modernisation of the industry.”

The President-General, NUR, Mr. Raphael Okoro, called on the President-elect to come to the aid of Nigerian railway workers whom he said had been subjected to poor remuneration over the years.

The union had in the last one year been calling for improved living wage and condition of service for its members as well as sufficient manpower for effective running of the railway transport system in the country.

Okoro said, “Considering his unbending patriotism and quest for national development, I am confident and hopeful that Nigerian railway will fare considerably better under the administration of General Buhari.

“What it takes to take Nigeria to higher level of national development and stronger integration is a functional and effective rail transport system. I strongly believe that what determines the extent a country like Nigeria can go in terms of development is its commitment to attaining rail infrastructural proficiency.

“Over the years, the Federal Government has spent several billions of naira on the asset rehabilitation and re-equipping of the Nigerian Railway without any impact on the welfare and livability of the workers. The workers who will put the multi-billion equipment to use still grope in poor remuneration and welfare.”

He added that railway workers’ welfare and remuneration should be of great concern to the President-elect in order to attract skilled and employable Nigerians to the industry and make the sector the highest employer of labour.