FG working to achieve rail connectivity across Nigeria- NRC
Inter-connectivity of the states through the railway system is what the Federal Government plans to achieve, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has made known.
Managing Director of the NRC, Mr. Fidet Okhiria, disclosed this on Sunday during a Webinar discussion about updates on the rail project presently undertaken by the government.
As the rail project aims at supporting economic activities by easing transportation, particularly of cargoes, Okhiria said that the ideal situation would be to have all areas covered as soon as possible.
He, however, said that the project would have to be done in phases, considering scarce resources.
“The rail project is looking upward and the government is having the will. Government is also interested in ensuring that the rail covers the entire country. But, we have to consider that the resources are scarce.
“If we had been doing this since the last 20 years, by now we would have been getting close to one thousand kilometres. It is a good idea that we are doing it now, so that those coming behind us would enjoy it,” Okhiria said.
The NRC MD added that doing the railways would bring some relief to the roads. “With the rail effective, the roads will last longer because, the roads were not designed for the kind of heavy loads that are carried on them.
“Rail is the main thing for moving heavy loads. And the rail can take up to forty tons and forty tons of twenty five wagons at a time. That is moving out thirty-five trailers out of the roads.”
Speaking on the travel time of trains from a place like Lagos to Kano, Okhiria said that it was certain a train would get to Kano ahead of a trailer carrying goods.
He noted that while trailers may have just a driver for the journey, even when he gets exhausted, a train would stop at dedicated stations to change its drivers and technical crew, thus making the journey safer and better.
Okhiria noted however that trailer operations would still be needed to move goods further into areas where the train cannot reach, like the warehouses.
“But, there are opportunities for the trailer owners and operators because, they can be used to move goods to warehouses,” he said.