Nigerian Railway cannot be owner, operator, regulator at the same time – Says Transport Minister

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Engr Mu’azu Jaji Sambo :

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Nigerian Railway cannot be owner, operator, regulator at the same time – Says Transport Minister

*As FG concludes plan to unbundle NRC

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Engr Mu’azu Jaji Sambo 

“The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) cannot be the Owner, Operator and Regulator at the same time. The private sector is the engine of growth. Let someone else operate your lines  efficiently”.

These were the words of Transportation Minister, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo.

The Minister spoke in Abuja, when members of NRC Governing Board paid him a working visit.

He added :  “We cannot have an Agency that is  Owner,  Regulator and Operator at the same time”.

His explanation :  “The Federal Government is considering unbundling the Nigerian Railway Corportion to make its services more efficient and effective.  We are looking at how the rail lines can be safe by putting 24 hours surveillance and immediate response apparatus”.

He went on :  “The security measures will include short and long term plans, with the short term plans taking effect from November.”

Speaking further, Engr. Sambo said that in addition to security measures, he had promised Nigerians that rail services will become operational only when those kidnapped in Abuja – Kaduna train service have regained their freedom and are reunited with their families..
His words :  “I told Nigerians that I will not run the services until every captive is released. We are fortunate today, they are all released and reunited with their families. We are also fortunate that all of them are back alive and given proper medical care. ”

On infrastructure development in the country, the Minister said no Government has invested more in infrastructure than the President Muhammadu Buhari’s  Administration. In his words; ” I dare say that no Government has invested in infrastructure more than the President Muhammadu Bugatti’s Government”.
The Minister, further informed that a  National Transport Policy that will articulate seamless transportation system for the country will soon be launched. He urged the Board to make itself ready by looking for alternative sources of cheaper and cleaner energy for the sector.

Earlier, the Chairman of NRC Board, Engr. Ibrahim Alhassan Musa, informed the Minister that due to high cost of diesel,  the cost of running the trains is so high, admitting, that they are running at a loss.
He called on the Minister to intervene as the Railway Service is one of the things the present Administration prides itself of, especially Lagos – Ibadan; Warri – Itakpe and the Abuja-Kaduna railway lines.

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