The Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation has revealed plans to improve the welfare of the staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and to foster better working conditions.
The Minister of Transportation, Sa’idu Alkali, who made the disclosure recently during a familiarisation visit to the NRC’s Headquarters in Ebute-Meta, Lagos, affirmed that he would give priority attention to the implementation of the Presidential approval for the upward review of special allowance for Nigerian railway workers.
According to him, “The visit was to access and evaluate the performance of the Corporation in relation to managerial coordination and implementation of existing rail infrastructure and ongoing projects with particular reference to Lagos-Ibadan and Kano-Maradi railway modernisation”.
The Minister assured the NRC’s Management of the Ministry’s support towards realizing its statutory functions in all ramifications.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation would take advantage of bilateral and multilateral agreements between Nigeria and several countries on trade and transfer of technology”, he said.
Speaking further, Alkali pointed out that transportation constitutes a major organ in promoting economic growth across countries worldwide. As such, the Ministry according to him, would ensure the completion of the President Bola Tinubu Station Standard Gauge rail in a very short while
In a similar vein, he said the Ministry was working towards fixing the single-track carrying containers from Lagos to Kano within three months.
Alkali added that the Ministry was also working towards the expansion of the Operational Scope of the Kajola Rail Wagon Assembly Plant.
In a statement on Friday by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Henshaw Ogbuike, the minister, however, affirmed that ” The familiarization tour of railway facilities and projects within Lagos was interesting, despite a number of discoveries that required urgent Executive action”.
Earlier, the Managing Director, NRC, Fidet Okhiria, congratulated the Minister on behalf of the entire staff on his appointment and that the NRC had faced challenges, which included security threats and vandalism of critical infrastructure.
“We must commend the efforts of various security agencies for securing the NRC facilities for the safety of our valued passengers and other stakeholders by arresting and prosecuting offenders”, he added.
He pleaded with the Minister to use his legislative experience to achieve his mandate of railway modernisation projects in the country.