Workers task Buhari on ‘Railway -friendly’ minister

Buhari

Buhari

Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) workers have appealed to President Mohammadu Buhari to appoint a ‘Railway-Friendly’ technocrat as Transport Minister. According to the workers, the appointment of a ‘Railway-Friendly’ Transport Minister would enhance the gains of on-going anti-corruption campaign and the sustainable development of the nation’s rail transport sub-sector.

The Secretary General of Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, Segun Esan in a statement commended President Buhari for matching his promises with practical action by tackling corruption, adding that the president should reverse the infrastructural deficiency in the nation’s rail transport system by investing the gains of anti-corruption drive in the subsector under a railway-friendly technocrat as Minister.

He said: “As Nigerians await the appointment of ministers by President Buhari, it becomes very necessary to appeal to the President to appoint as minister a Nigerian and technocrat who understands the economic importance and relevance of the rail transport system to the development of the nation.

Railway development has to continue if we are really keen on achieving any meaningful development of our nation. Up till now, Nigerian Railway cannot boast of having up to 30 effectively working locomotive engines, which is the fulcrum of rail transport business. The Corporation is still grossly deficient of passenger coaches and goods wagons to really meet the growing market share of the traffic offer available to it.

Now that the anti-corruption campaign is being vigorously pursued and yielding practical results with evident tracking of the stolen funds, it will be good that the gains of the anti-corruption campaign is invested in the railway to reverse the infrastructural deficiency in the rail transport system’’, Esan said.

He also advised the federal government to come up with a ‘realistic long-term development plan that will be followed in the sustainable development of the nation’s rail transport system’.

Esan explained that a well-developed and effectively managed railway would reduce carnage on the road; further strengthen the integration of the nation; and significantly stimulate socio-economic growth of the citizenry.

Railway development has to continue if we are really keen on achieving any meaningful development of our nation. Up till now, Nigerian Railway cannot boast of having up to 30 effectively working locomotive engines, which is the fulcrum of rail transport business. The Corporation is still grossly deficient of passenger coaches and goods wagons to really meet the growing market share of the traffic offer available to it.

He appealed to President Buhari to do all in his capacity to turn round the rail transport sub-sector so as to justify the support and good wishes given his administration by the Nigerian Railway workers.
He recalled that Nigerian Railway was established in 1898 by the British colonial administration to exploit the agrarian hinterlands of the colony.

According to him, the Corporation continued as a public transport and was upgraded through the statutory Act of Parliament of 1955 to perform dual function of carrying goods and passengers from one place to another.
He recalled that beginning from early 80s to the 90s, the Corporation was neglected and starved of funds by the federal government, which eventually occasioned its recession to a moribund state.

He said the on-going rehabilitation and re-equipping drive which began in 2009 managed to bring the Corporation back to life, adding that more need to be done in terms of repositioning the rail transport industry as a major player in national development.



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