PDP attacks Sagay for criticising Lagos new rail project – Newstrends
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PDP attacks Sagay for criticising Lagos new rail project

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The Peoples Democratic Party, Lagos State chapter says the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), lacks moral justification to dictate to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on which project to embark on for Lagosians.

Sagay had said it made no sense for the governor to embark on the Red Line rail project when the Blue Line started almost 10 years ago had not been completed.

But the PDP, which spoke through its Publicity Secretary Taofik Gani, said Sagay should concentrate on his job as PACAC chairman and leave the governor to decide what is best for his people.

The party accused Sagay, which it claimed had a cordial relationship with Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, of failing to speak out throughout Fashola’s tenure as governor of Lagos State, to account for money spent on the project.

It stated, “Without holding fort for Governor Sanwo-Olu, the truth of the matter is that Prof. Itse Sagay lacks the moral justification to come up at his own will and criticise the government. This is the same person who is supposed to be in charge of a thorough anti-corruption drive but he has clearly abandoned that. He only criticises the government when it is obviously against his interest.

“We know that the Blue Line from the beginning was a complete fraud. It was project that was started with less than N6 billion and now it is over N46 billion. During Fashola’s era, the governor couldn’t account for the funds spent on that project, yet Prof. Sagay kept mute because of his close relationship with Fashola.

“There is no reason why he will now come and condemn the actual needs of Lagosians within the metropolis. We are talking of Oyingbo, Alagbado and other places. Look at the number of people who transit in that particular area.

“We condemn the attempt by Prof. Sagay to want to be the spokesman for Lagosians on what projects to they want or do not want. We condemn his hypocritical stand on this issue. He should come out and condemn President Buhari and others who have put us in this mess.

“We say it loud and clearly that Prof. Sagay is a beneficiary of the APC and government and he can’t be criticising a project that will benefit Lagosians. Why will he say Fashola’s projects must be completed? How many projects did Fashola himself complete and why couldn’t he account for those funds when his successor demanded for it? In a saner clime, Fashola ought to be with EFCC now, not as a minister of the Federal Republic.

“We however demand that Governor Sanwo-Olu must return to make a fair presentation to interested parties. Every kobo must be supervised and accounted for. The monitoring team can have CSO. Why should any government even be scared of ‘ombudsman’ on projects executed with tax and loans?”

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Our medical team tried to rescue policeman who died on Abuja-Kaduna train – NRC 

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Our medical team tried to rescue policeman who died on Abuja-Kaduna train – NRC 

 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation has reacted to the death of policemen while on escort duty aboard the Abuja-Kaduna train on April 5, saying the deceased received medical attention on the train.

It said this in a statement on Tuesday.

The police escort attached to the train was said to have died on the train conveying passengers from Kaduna to Abuja last Thursday.

The police officer reportedly complained of chest pain before he collapsed and died.

Some have accused the NRC of not having medical personnel on board.

But the NRC said there was a medical doctor on duty on the train when the incident happened.

It disclosed that the official was also assisted by a passenger, also a medical practitioner.

The statement read in part, “The NRC management wishes to emphatically inform the general public that we have well trained medical personnel and equipped medical cubicle to attend to any emergency health challenges of our esteemed passengers.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the medical personnel on duty was Mariam Abdulai who was assisted by a good Samaritan medical practitioner that happens to be our passenger on board to revive the ailing cop but was in futility.

“The management of the NRC expresses its heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family of the late police inspector, Nambut Selbol, who was escort on duty in Abuja – Kaduna train service on that fateful day.”

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Abuja metro rail 97% ready, says Wike after 30-minute ride

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Wike in 30-min ride on Abuja metro train, says it’s 97% ready

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, on Friday undertook a 30-minute ride on the Abuja metro train after an inspection of the intra-city rail project.

The train ride was done after an inspection tour from the Metro Station in Central Area to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

He disclosed that the Rail Mass Transit (ART) project was 97 per cent ready.

Wike President Bola Tinubu would be happy to commission the Abuja Rail Mass Transit project in May.

The minister described the development as a “dream comes true”.

He said the project would be ready for inauguration to celebrate Tinubu’s one year in office.

Wike said Tinubu had approved the schedule for the inauguration of projects in the FCT.

The minister said, “We are very happy. We are almost 97 per cent completed. All works are ongoing to make sure that the May delivery date is a reality.

“I believe this is one of the projects Mr President would like to inaugurate, because it is very key to the development of the economy.

“For me, it is a dream come true, and we are happy that after all said and done, the metro line will be put to use for Nigerians, come May 29″.

After the test ride from the Metro Station to the Airport, the minister declared that it would be more convenient to use the train than vehicles to go to the airport.

He added, “I am really impressed with the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

“The company has assured us that all the renovation works on the stations will be ready before the commissioning date.”

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Cargo trains lifted NRC revenue to N6.05bn in 2023 – NBS

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Nigerian railway generated N6.05bn in 2023 – NBS report 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) generated a total revenue of N6.05 billion in 2023, largely buoyed by cargo trains.

This is an increase of 8.8 per cent over N5.56 billion recorded in 2022, according to latest report by the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) on Rail Transport.

Despite the initial hiccups, since the Minister of Transportation, Senator Saidu Alkali, inaugurated the first cargo movement from the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor in September last year, the freight train has enjoyed good patronage.

The NBS report showed the volume of cargo and revenue in 2023 rose by 102.04 percent and 144.32 percent respectively compared to the figures in 2022.

It specifically stated that the revenue generated in 2023 comprised N4.42 billion from passengers; N1.07 billion from cargos and N565.84 million from other income receipts.

The data also indicated that the number of cargos\goods transported by rail during the period stood at 317,244 tons while the number of passengers was 2.18 million tons.

However, the report showed that in Q4’23, the number of passengers fell by 49.7 percent to 672,198.

Part of the NBS report read, “In Q4’23, a total of 672,198 passengers travelled via rail system relative to 1,337,108 reported in the corresponding quarter of 2022, indicating a growth rate of -49.73 percent.

“The volume of goods/cargos transported in Q4’23 stood at 119,286 tons compared to 53,136 tons recorded in Q4’22.

“In terms of revenue generation, N1.07 billion was received from passengers during the reference period, showing a decrease of 7.51 percent from the N1.15 billion recorded in the same quarter of the previous year.

“Similarly, N423.22 million was collected from goods/cargos conveyed in Q4’23, up by 169.16 percent from N157.23 million received in Q4’22.

“In addition, other receipts amounted to N393.72 million, indicating an increase of 3.02 percent in Q4’23 from the N382.17 million collected in Q4’22.

“However, on an annual basis, the number of passengers in 2023 fell by 32.08 percent compared to the previous year.

“The revenue received from passengers declined by 2.64 percent in 2023, while volume of cargo and revenue rose by 102.04 percent and 144.32 percent respectively relative to 2022.”

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