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Diesel cost: NRC reduces Lagos-Ibadan trips from six to two

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The Nigerian Railway Corporation has reduced the number of trips on the Lagos-Ibadan train service to two due to the hike in the price of diesel.

Managing Director of the corporation, Fidet Okhiria, told The Punch that the NRC had cut the number of return trips on the route from six to two every day.

He said, “The Lagos-Ibadan train service is running, but we have reduced the number of trips on that route because of the diesel problem. We reduced the number of trips we are running because of the hike in diesel price.

“We are now doing two return trips as against six, which by now should have gone to 10. So, we run just two trips now due to the diesel problem.”

Despite the rising cost of operations, the NRC boss said it was outside the corporation’s powers to hike fares.

He said the corporation had sent recommendations to the Federal Ministry of Transportation for an adjustment in the train fare.

“We just can’t increase it by ourselves. The government has to do that. We have made some recommendations. But even with the recommendations we made, the new price of diesel has overshot our workings contained in the recommendations,” Okhiria said.

“However, we don’t want to price ourselves out of the market too, because the price of petrol is not increasing as such, rather the increase is little when compared to diesel price. And you know we are competing with transporters on road.”

In the last five months, the price of diesel has hit N800 per litre, representing a 28 per cent increase — it sold for 625/litre in March.

Railway

NRC develops framework for PPP, working with LASG for red line take-off

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Nigerian Railway Corporation has developed a train track access framework to encourage Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the operation of effective train services in the country, Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, has said.

He also said the NRC had set up a team to work with the Lagos State Government to ensure smooth launch and effective running of the state government’s mass transit train called the Red Line.

He stated this during a press briefing held Wednesday at the NRC’s headquarters, Ebute Meta, Lagos.

He said that the establishment of train track access framework would enable third parties to use the track.

Okhiria said the framework would increase private sector participation and the usage of the trackers.

He said it would also improve inter-state business and passengers would pay lesser amount for carriage of goods from one point to another.

He said, “We have tendered the Train Track Access Framework to the Board of the NRC during our last meeting and we hope that the framework will be approved at the next board meeting.

“We have set up a team to work with the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) to enable them to operate successfully.

“LAMATA had just received wagons for the Red Line and hopefully they will start operation by the first quarter of 2023.”

The state government some days took delivery of Talgo Series 8 trains acquired from Milwaukee for the Red Line with a promise that the first quarter delivery date for the train service remained sacrosant.

Okhiria also said on Wednesday that efforts were being made by the Federal Government to adequately secure trains’ passengers nationwide as well as address other industry issues.

He said the incident of March 28, 2022 impacted not just on the Abuja-Kaduna route but on all the train services nationwide but added that the confidence of Nigerians on train ride as the safest means of transportation was gradually being restored.

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Railway

Train attack: FG loses N531m revenue in five months

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The suspension of the Abuja-Kaduna train service within five months has cost the Nigerian Railway Corporation N531m in revenue loss, the Managing Director of the firm, Fidet Okhiria, has said.

He stated this in Lagos on Wednesday at a quarterly press briefing of the corporation.

He said the amount represented what could have been made through ticket sales for the standard gauge passenger train, which was attacked by terrorists about six months ago.

Since terrorists on March 28 attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train, killing eight people and abducting 62 passengers, it has not resumed operation.

Although many of those held hostage have been released in piecemeal, the Federal Government has said train service would not be restored on the route until all those still in captivity are released and adequate security measures put in place along the corridor.

Okhiria said, “We have lost N531m between March 28 when the train attack happened and August through the expected ticket sales on the suspended Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS).”

Although the NRC MD said the corporation had restored the damaged rolling stock and fixed the track, the train service would not resume without the safe release of the remaining passengers held hostage.

He said four railway workers were among those still being held captive.

He said, “We believe proper security measures should be put in place. Government has set up a committee to ensure maximum security for both train passengers and facilities during operation.

“The minister (of transportation) is leading the struggle for the safe release of those still in captivity. We could not go with force to ensure noone loses their life.”

Okhiria said the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge train was running four trips daily, just as the other regular train service including Warri-Itakpe line.

“Lagos-Ibadan train service has not stopped running one day. It operates four daily trips. The Itakpe-Warri line runs two trains a day,” he said.

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Railway

Updated: No insurance cover for victims of Abuja-Kaduna train attack – NRC

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Train passengers held captive by terrorists after the attack on Abuja-Kaduna rail will not receive any compensation from insurance company, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, has said.

He disclosed this on Wednesday at a press conference in Lagos, explaining that although the corporation had an insurance policy for both rolling stock and train passengers, it did not cover banditry and terrorism.
The terrorists had on March 28, attacked an Abuja-Kaduna-bound passenger train, killing eight people, injuring several others, while 62 of the passengers were abducted.
Many of those held hostage have been released in piecemeal.

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