Authorities of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said that it lost N531m to inactivity on the Abuja-Kaduna route between March to August 2022.
NRC managing director Fidet Okhiria while disclosing this and other developments in the Corporation to the media in Lagos explained that, the lack of diesel also contributed to the reduction in trips done on the Lagos-Ibadan train services.
Okhiria declared that contrary to rumours in circulation, the Nigerian Railway Corporation have not stopped the Lagos-Ibadan train services, but rather the route operates four train services per day. Also, for Warri-Itakpe, we do two trains per day.
He stated that for the Abuja incident, the projection of NRC was that by now, it should be running 10 trips on the Lagos-Ibadan route with five going and five coming.
According to the NRC managing director,
“We were already doing 10 trips per day on the Abuja-Kaduna and thought that by now, it would have increased to 12; six to and six from either end, so that people can properly schedule their movement using the train”.
“Regrettably, due to inactivity on the Abuja-Kaduna train which was caused by the last terrorist attack, we have recorded a shortfall of N531 million on the Abuja-Kaduna route from March to August 2022. The shortfall is from expected income following the disruption occasioned by the train attack.
While the NRC management are trying to resolve that issue and people are building confidence, we have this challenge in the astronomical rise in the price of diesel from N300 plus to over N1000/litre.
Due to this, the Lagos-Ibadan route dropped to two because of diesel cost. What we earn cannot pay for diesel.
“There are people providing security because of the situation all over the place. We have to hire separate security and pay them, whether the train runs or not. We have to pay light bills, and still have to buy diesel for the generators servicing the stations, among other things despite the inactivity along the Abuja-Kaduna train route and the drop on the Lagos-Ibadan train services.
“So you can see that what we earn is also eroded by operational cost even in the midst of challenges.”
On the movement of cargoes from the ports via the standard gauge rail, the NRC MD explained that the movement of cargoes with the Lagos-Ibadan train should start in November 2022.
“We are currently meeting with some maritime stakeholders, including APM Terminals and ENL Consortium, to ensure that freight runs on the standard gauge from both terminals to Papalanto and Abeokuta before November. We are working hard to ensure that the access roads and freight yards are properly put in place so that the equipment for rolling stocks is put in place”.
Okhiria also disclosed that the manager of NRC is meeting with some individuals on the usage of the warehouses and freight yards, and hope that before November, the NRC will start moving freights on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail.
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