L-R The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria and Director, Admin and Human Resources, Dr Monsurat Omotayo, during a media parley held at the corporation’s Headquarters in Lagos on Monday.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) raises the alarm that vandals now engage officers of the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in a shootout.
This was disclosed by the managing director of the corporation, Fidet Okhiria during a media parley held at the corporation’s Headquarters in Lagos in Monday.
Okhiria who stated that activities of vandals are not affecting their operation said tgey have also provided mechanism to stop vandalism and assured passengers of maximum standards.
He said the management of NRC has started sensitising all the communities along railway corridors on the implications of vandalising railway equipment.
According to him, the Ministry of Transportation has also provided six patrol vehicles to assist security operatives in ensuring quick action.
“We know that the vehicle can not go on the track and now, we are making arrangements to provide motor bike to patrol on the tracks.
“What we see now along the track corridor is that, people even come there with arms, they exchange fire with police and civil defence.
“The vandalism along rail track is not affecting operations, our patronage is still going up and we have advised all the train operators not to stop while on movement.
“We also educate the train operators not to stop even when they see someone laying 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 they are partnering Air Force to patrol with helicopters adding that the NRC was also looking inward to get advanced technology.
The NRC boss explained that they were working on advanced technology, of which would come at heavy cost and with components such as satellite monitoring and sensors on the track which would not be prone to vandalism.
Okhiria said that Abuja was having much patronage on daily bases due to the introduction of e-ticketing even as he said that Lagos-Ibadan patronage iss also increasing on daily basis.
Okhiria said the corporation had discovered some problems with the track that leads to Apapa port and that the contractor had come back to the site.
He assured cargo operators that the standard container rail from Apapa would commence full operations in March 2022.