NRC Set To Commence Passenger Train Service Tomorrow

By Sandra Chukwunyere

Three months after the suspension Lagos to Kano and Lagos mass transit train service, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) will tomorrow commence operations.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi made this known yesterday in Lagos after the inspection of the Lagos to Ibadan standard gauge railway.

He noted that with completion of work on the narrow gauge railway line some bulky goods will be evacuated from the port by rail.

The minister also advised China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to focus attention on linking the Apapa port by rail adding that the work on linking the Apapa port by rail should be completed by April this year as promised by CCECC.

The Minister who was not satisfied with the level of work so far carried out by CCECC convened a meeting with Nigeria Ports Authority in order to finalize discussions on the challenges facing CCECC in the Ebute-Metta Junction (,EBJ) to Apapa axis.

On the construction of railway stations between Lagos and Ibadan, he noted that work on the Kajola railway station has been completed while work on the other minor railway station will be completed by April this year.

He attributed the delay in the completion of work on the narrow gauge to the fact that some materials required to complete the work are yet to arrive the country.

The Governor of Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said the the construction of the Lagos to Ibadan standard gauge railway has a lot of economic benefit for Oyo state as people can live in Ibadan and work in Lagos.

He said that the Oyo state government will build infrastructure so as to meet the demand of the anticipated  movement of people from Lagos to live in Ibadan adding that the lifespan of the roads is also expected to improve as most of the heavy duty trucks plying the roads will be reduced.

The managing director NRC Mr. Fidet Okhiria said that apart from commencement of operations on the narrow gauge railway line, the Diesel Multiple Unit train service will be resuscitated.

He disclosed that two Locomotive engines has already been imported into the country from United States of America adding that the decision to import from United States was due to availabity of Cumins spare parts.

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