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Standard rail line to begin full operations in Apapa by March, NRC assures

By Adaku Walter

Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, has assured cargo operators that the standard container rail line from the Apapa Port will commence full operations in March 2022.

Okhiria, who gave the assurance at a media briefing in Lagos, said the NRC has provided mechanism to stop railway vandalism and assured passengers of maximum standards.

He said the management of NRC had started sensitizing all the communities along railway corridors on the implications of vandalizing railway equipment.

According to him, the Ministry of Transportation has also provided six patrol vehicles and motorbikes to assist security operatives in ensuring quick action on the tracks

“What we see now along the track corridor is that people come with arms and exchange gun fight with the police and civil defence. The vandalism along the rail track is not affecting operations, our patronage is still increasing and we have advised all the train operators not to stop while on movement.

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“We also educate the train operators not to stop even when they see someone lying on the train track, because you don’t know what they are planning. We are liaising with various security authorities to provide necessary coverage for the corporation,” Okhiria said.

On the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail, he said the NRC is partnering with the Nigerian Air Force to patrol with helicopters, adding that the corporation was also looking inward to get advanced technology.

He explained that the NRC was working on advanced technology, which would come at a heavy cost and with components such as satellite monitoring and sensors on the track that would not be prone to vandalism.

Okhiria said Abuja was having much patronage on daily basis due to the introduction of e ticketing, adding that patronage of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor was also increasing on daily basis.

He, however, noted that the corporation had discovered some problems with the track that leads to Apapa port and that the contractor had mobilized back to site.

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