FG mulls unbundling of NRC for effective service delivery

The federal government is considering unbundling the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to make its services more efficient and effective.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, told members of the NRC Governing Board who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja that NRC “can no longer be the owner, operator and regulator at the same time.”

“The private sector is the engine of growth. Let someone else operate your lines efficiently. We cannot have an Agency that is the owner, regulator and operator at the same time,” he said.

Briefing the Board on what the government was doing concerning the resumption of rail services, the minister said commercial operations “will resume after security measures are installed to forestall reoccurrence of train attacks in the country.”

“We are looking at how the rail lines can be safe by putting 24 hours surveillance and immediate response apparatus. The security measures will include short and long-term plans, with the short-term plans taking effect from November.

“I’ve told Nigerians that I will not run the services until every captive is released. We are lucky today; they are all released and reunited with their families. We are also lucky that all of them are back alive and were all given proper medical care.”

Earlier, the chairman of the NRC Board, Engr. Ibrahim Alhassan Musa, said as a result of the high cost of diesel, the cost of running the trains “is so high,” disclosing that they were running at a loss.

He called on the minister to intervene as the railway service “is one of the things the present administration prides itself of, especially the Lagos – Ibadan, the Warri – Itakpe and the Abuja-Kaduna railway lines.”