Three months after the inauguration of the standard gauge Lagos-Ibadan rail by President Muhammadu Buhari, the signal and communication system has not been operational.
The Project Liaison Officer of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Mr Yakubu Adogie, who stated this, however, promised that the company was already working to complete the system before the first quarter of 2022.
He spoke in Lagos when members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Transportation visited the Ebute Meta headquarters of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and inspected the new rail line including the Bola Tinubu Railway Station, Apapa.
Concerns have been raised about system along new railway corridor over delay in the completion of the signalling system.
The signalling system helps to maintain a safe distance between trains on the same track, safeguard train movement at junctions and regulate their passage according to the service density and speed required.
A statement by the NRC on Monday reported the CCECC liaison officer as saying that the company was also working on the plumbing, power supply and telecommunications of other stations within the new Lagos-Ibadan railway corridor.
Adogie lamented that despite intervention of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, in July and payment of compensation, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) log room building had not been demolished to give way for the construction of the other two lines to connect Apapa port.
The Projects Manager of TEAM Construction Company Nig. Ltd, Leonardo Portanova, spoke on the overhead bridges and crossings in the Lagos end of the rail line.
According to him, the Lagos State Government is constructing seven overhead bridges while TEAM would build six overhead crossings.
The Chairman, Joint Senate/House Committee on Transportation, Abdulfatai Buhari, said the legislators would support the NRC with necessary legislative framework to ensure effective rail transport and boost inter-regional business in the country.
He promised the committee’s commitment for excellent delivery on the NRC’s mandate in line with international best practices.
“You are all aware that the joint committee is carrying out its statutory constitutional responsibilities to ascertain the level of work done.
He said, “We are here to oversee how funds appropriated in the past fiscal years were expended and how much needed for the smooth running of the corporation against the next budgetary allocation.
“We had the benefit of listening to your presentation and recommendations at the last budget defence as regards the performance on 2020 budget and 2021 budget appropriations.”
Buhari said that the committee’s visit was not to witch-hunt the corporation but to collaborate and ensure the rail revitalisation agenda as well as infrastructural development programme of the current administration.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Transportation, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, asked the contractors to open a good channel of communication with them to enable that the committee defend them on their requirements to make the land transport viable for business.
He also urged the NRC management to always make their reports available quarterly to improve the synergy with the National Assembly.
He said the committee also sought the need for housing scheme for workers to improve staff welfare and enhance efficiency.
Earlier in his presentation, the NRC Managing Director, Mr Fidet Okhiria, gave current personnel strength of the corporation as 10,672 with current personnel cost of N9.137 billion for 2021.
He also said that a total of 1,000 additional workers would be required for the operation of the new Lagos-Ibadan rail line, with additional wage bill of N567, 451,300 per annum.
He pleaded with the committee to support the NRC to achieve its goal of expanding the operations nationwide for effective transportation of people and freight.
Okhiria added, “On corporation’s revenue generation since 2020, NRC has remitted N1. 126bn to Federal Government approved dedication TSA Account domiciled with the CBN.”
As Abuja-Kaduna train resumes, NRC gives passengers Nov 6 for unused tickets
Train operations on the Abuja-Kaduna route resumed on Saturday, after they were suspended on Thursday following an attack that damaged the rail track.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation has given passengers with unused tickets two weekends ending on November to make use of the tickets or forfeit them.
Two reported attacks on Wednesday night and Thursday morning said to have been executed with the use of explosives led to damage on the rail track.
In one of the attacks, the window of the driver compartment of the train was reportedly shattered. This prompted the corporation to suspend the train ride along the route.
But the NRC restored the train services on Saturday after carrying out adequate repairs on the damaged track and beefing up security along the route.
On Saturday when train services resumed along the route, there was a report of low turnout of passengers.
Some of the passengers, who acknowledged improved armed security presence on the train and along the track said they could not use their pre-purchased tickets as the railway officials claimed they had no order to accept them.
A statement issued by the NRC later said customers would have two weeks (ending November 06) to use tickets for rides scheduled during the period operations were cancelled.
The corporation also asked affected customers to give 48-hour notice before their scheduled trips with the unused tickets.
The statement read in part, “Dear esteemed customers, service has been restored on the Abuja-Kaduna service.
“Customers with unused tickets for the 21st and 22nd of October should kindly contact the customer care unit (firstname.lastname@example.org and 01 888 7741) for rescheduling.
“Kindly give 48-hour notice ahead of new travel date. This offer is open for the next 2 weeks and will expire on the 6th of November, 2021. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.”
Abuja-Kaduna train resumes operation Saturday – NRC
Barely 24 hours after suspending the Abuja-Kaduna trains for safety reasons, the Nigerian Railway Corporation says the services will resume Saturday October 23.
The suspension followed an explosion attack by hoodlums on the Abuja-Kaduna rail track Wednesday evening, which the corporation said affected the locomotive tank of a Kaduna-bound train.
Although there have been conflicting accounts of the attack with some attributing it to bandit or terrorist attack, the Managing Director of the corporation said in an interview on Friday night that the NRC team of engineers and technicians had fixed the problem and was certified that the train service could resume on the route after carrying out extensive an inspection of the line.
The NRC also said in a statement issued Friday evening that the Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS) would “resume tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd October, 2021 as follows: From IDU, Abuja (AK3) at 0950am. From Rigasa, Kaduna (KA4) at 10.35am.”
The statement read in part, “The board and management of the Nigerian railway corporation (NRC) hereby inform the general public, particularly our valued passengers that Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS) resume tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd October, 2021 as follows: From IDU, Abuja (AK3) at 0950am. From Rigasa, Kaduna (KA4) at 10.35am. Subsequent train services continue.
“The NRC once again sincerely apologises for the inconvenience.”
Just in: Nigerian railway suspends Abuja-Kaduna train services over safety
The Nigeria Railway Corporation has announced the suspension of train services on the Abuja-Kaduna route.
It said on Thursday that the decision was taken for safety purposes after a section of the rail track was vandalised on Wednesday night.
Some Kaduna-bound passengers were reportedly forced to return to Abuja following the damage to the track.
An ex-senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, had tweeted on Thursday that there was a bandit attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train he was travelling in and had a miraculous escape with other passengers.
But the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Mr Fidet Okhiria, said it was an attack by vandals on the rail track.
The corporation said in a statement on its website on Thursday that train services had been suspended on Abuja-Kaduna route for the safety of passengers and crew members.
It added that efforts were being put in place to ensure maximum safety along the route.
It also further information about the suspension would be conveyed to the public later.
Daily Trust reported that hundreds of passengers were stranded at Rigasa Railway Station in Kaduna on Thursday morning.
The report stated that most of the passengers that booked their train tickets online later resorted to travelling by road.
An NRC official at the station told the passengers that there was a problem with the train and so there would be no train.
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