By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Railway transportation is one of the cornerstones of economic growth and development of any country, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, has said.
Other advantages of a good railway system include mass movement of freights and people, creation of both direct and indirect job opportunities, facilitation of urbanization, boosting of business expansion and enhancing social integration for peaceful co-existence, the NRC chief enumerated.
Okhiria announced the outlines in his office in Lagos on Thursday 17th November 2022 while welcoming Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, and Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, who visited the Headquarters of NRC.
The ministers, including the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene N. Ajani, were in Lagos to inspect railway facilities.
Okhiria expressed disappointment that insecurity and vandalism of rail infrastructure are the main challenges threatening rail transport growth and development in Nigeria.
“However, in recent times, NRC has been facing some challenges, which include security and vandalism, but we thank the Honourable Minister and his team for their efforts towards ensuring that the railway corridors are now properly secured for the safety of our esteemed passengers and other stakeholders,” Okhiria stated in his welcome address.
He commended Sambo for ensuring that all hostages of Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) “infamous train attack were released before the resumption of train operations on AKTS.
“This shows the compassion and empathy of our Honourable Minister,” the NRC leader said.
He appreciated the transportation minister for his doggedness and supervisory commitment towards ensuring that all projects are completed within their time frame and for adhering to quality and international best practices in carrying out railway infrastructure modernization.