By Afolabi Oyekunle.
Nigerian Railway Corporation has lost over 531million naira in six months due to the stoppage of the Abuja- Kaduna rail services .
The attack by bandits on the Abuja Kaduna train on March 28th 2022 saw several people killed and many kidnapped.
While some of those who were kidnapped had been freed some are still in captivity, making the government to stop the train services.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engineer Fidet Okhiria speaking to newsmen in Lagos on the activities of the Corporation said before the stoppage, the trains were running 10 trips per day which could have been increased by now.
Speaking on when the services would resume, he said due to the security implications the government has set up a committee to look at the security situation and the corporation is awaiting the outcome.
Engineer Okhiria said the cost of diesel that rose from about 300naira to over 1000 naira has also affect the operations of the Lagos – Ibadan train services which forced the corporation to reduce the trips to four per day. Two going two coming.
He admitted that the corporation presently run at a loss on the Lagos Ibadan route as what it generates is far less than what is spend due to the cost of diesel.
Engineer Okhiria dispelled the rumours in some quarters that the Corporation has stopped the Lagos Ibadan route.
On other routes, he said the Warri Itakpe is still functioning with two trips per day, while the Lagos – Kano train services would resume after all necessary actions on security.
The NRC boss said the government has set up a committee to find a lasting solution on security challenges, as modern technology would be in operation, while there would be security at strategic positions.
He said the present financial situation of the corporation is not something to write about as it has to rely on revenue from its properties to stay afloat.
Engineer Okhiria believes all the challenges facing the Corporation would be solved to meet the aspirations for a rail network accross the country and improved rail services.
He called on Nigerians to support the government and the corporation desire to improve rail services in the country, as it is better to do it now than to delay.