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Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector - Politics - Nairaland

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Amaechi Sets The Ball In Transport / ‘ There Is No Transformation In Railway System’ ~ Rowland Ataguba / Transformation In The Lagos State Fire Service: (2) (3) (4)

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Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by FrankC3: 12:11pm On Jun 29, 2014
Sunday Okobi writes on the transformation taking place in the transport sector and the implications for the nation’s quest for economic development

The role of transportation in the economic, political and social development of any nation cannot be over-emphasised as it is the sector that connects all the other sectors of the economy. The overriding goal of the transport sector under the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan-led government is to develop an adequate, safe, environmentally sound, efficient and affordable, integrated transport system within the framework of a competitive national and international market economy.
The ministry recently highlighted the achievements in the period under review, describing it as tremendous.

The Railway Subsector
According to the ministry led by Senator Idris Umar, in a bid to turnaround the railway system nationwide, the federal government had articulated a 25-year strategic vision for the rail sector. The thrusts of the vision, among others include the completion of the rehabilitation of the existing narrow gauge, the construction of new standard gauge rail lines, extension of the rail network to link all state capitals, commercial centres, solid mineral and mining sites, petroleum product depots and major agricultural zones, as well as fertiliser distribution depots. Out of the existing 3,505 km of narrow gauge line, over 90 per cent of the existing narrow gauge network is being rehabilitated. During the period under review, significant progress was made on the rehabilitation of the existing narrow gauge lines throughout the country.

Achievements in the Rail Transport Sector
A notable achievement in the sector is the rehabilitation of the 1,124kilometre Western line from Lagos to Kano which is completed and functional, while work on the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri in Borno State 1,657km Eastern line is progressing steadily with the Port Harcourt-Jos Station, including the branch line from Kafanchan to Kaduna expected to be completed by July this year.


Rehabilitation of sidings and loop lines along the Western line, including connection to key industrial locations within Apapa, 74 stations and branch lines between Lagos and Kano, the 300 metre link between the Apapa port complex and the national line and the spur line to the Kaduna power plant complex have commenced and project will be completed by end of 2014. Completion of the construction and the rehabilitation of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard gauge rail line is 77 per cent completed with the entire track laid, which is also expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Construction of Abuja (Idu)–Kaduna Standard Gauge rail line is 78 per cent completed, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.


Construction of Lagos - Ibadan standard gauge (double track) 2 x 180 Km has been awarded and will commence as soon as the Federal Ministry of Finance finalises on the loan funding by the China Exim Bank.

Feasibility Studies on Additional Lines
The feasibility studies to create additional corridors for the standard gauge rail system have been completed and their reports consisting of Outline Business Cases would be made available in July 2014 to potential investors for the development of the lines under Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.


Among the new corridors which the ministry has concluded its studies on are:East – West Rail Line Lagos-Shagamu-Ijebu Ode-Ore-Benin City (300km). Benin-Agbor-Onitsha-Nnewi-Owerri-Aba line with additional line from Onitsha-Enugu-Abakaliki which is about 500km. Coastal rail line in the Niger Delta Region: Benin-Sapele, Warri-Yenagoa, Port Harcourt-Aba-Uyo-Calabar-Akanpa-Ogoja-Obudu Cattle Ranch (673km), Lagos-Abuja (High Speed – 615km). Ajaokuta (Eganyi)-Obajana-Jakura-Baro-Abuja with additional line from Ajaokuta to Otukpo (533km). Zaria-Kaura Namoda-Sokoto-Illela-Birnin Konni in Niger Republic which is about 520km, Eganyi (near Ajaokuta)-Lokoja-Abaji-Abuja (280km)


The other proposed rail lines which are presently awaiting Federal Executive Council consideration the ministry added, are Kano-Bichi-Katsina-Jibiya line, Illela-Sokoto-Jega-Yauri-Makera-Minna with branch line to Kontagora, Aba-Ikpene-Ibino-Itu (spur to Uyo) Odukpani-Calabar, Port-Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Enugu-Makurdi-Lafia-Kuru-Bauchi-Gombe-Biu-Maiduguri, Ikom Obudu-Ogoja-Katsina Ala-Wukari Jalingo-Yola-Maiduguri, Kano-Nguru-Gashua-Damaturu-Maiduguri-Gamboro-Ngala.

Procurement of new NRC facilities
However, the federal government, through the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has invested in the procurement and rehabilitation of locomotives, wagons and coaches which also include two sets of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs); Six 68-Seater air conditioned coaches, four locomotives (these were recently inaugurated by President Jonathan and two railway line Telescopic Cranes.
Also, some bills which the ministrybelieveswould open the door for more private sector participation are under consideration by the FEC for onward submission to the National Assembly. The bills are the Nigerian Railway Authority Bill, National Transport Commission Bill, The Ports and Harbour Bill and National Inland Waterways Authority Bill.



According to the Managing Director of the NRC, Adeseyi Sijuwade, “Following the lifting of the embargo on rent and lease of Nigerian Railway Corporation’s land and landed properties, the redevelopment of the Nigerian Railway Stations through Public Private Partnership is being processed. Transaction Advisers have been commissioned to drive the process for private sector participation. Advertisement for the Expression of Interest is expected to be published in July this year.” Under the policy, which the corporation disclosed recently, the railway stations to be remodeled and redeveloped in the first phase of the programme are: Iddo, Ebute Meta Junction, Ilorin, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Jos and Gombe.

NRC Passenger Services
On the Intra –City Mass Transit, the corporation has commenced the Lagos Mass Transit Train, from Apapa to Ijoko (16 trains per day, an average of 16,000 passengers daily), Kaduna Mass Transit Train services (10 trains daily, an average of 10,000 passengers), Kano to Challawa train services (6 trains daily), also the ministry has announced that efforts were on ground to restore the suspended Mass Transit services in Jos and Maiduguri occasioned by security challenges, “to ease the burden on roads as well as boost economic and social activities in the country.”


The railway corporation intercity passenger services are Lagos to Kano express train services running twice a week; Offa to Kano train services, once a week; Lagos to Ibadan to Ilorin back to Lagos (three times a week, moving an average of 6,188 passengers); Kaduna to Kafancha train (suspended due to ongoing rehabilitation work); Kano to Nguru back to Kano train service (Twice a week), moving an average of 850 passengers weekly) and the Highly patronised ‘Excursion Train’ during festivities.


The transport ministry said the number of passengers conveyed by train had increased from 4,155,988 in 2012 to 4,328,789 in 2013. “This was as a result of increased stabilisation of the tracks after completion of rehabilitation of the western line and its use for train operations.
The targets set for delivery of freight and passenger services in 2013 were substantially achieved. The challenges remain the need for more coaches and wagons to meet the high demands of the citizenry,” the Permanent Secretary of the transport ministry, Mr. Nebo Oliseh, told THISDAY recently.


Inland waterways transportation and sea ports
In the year under review, the ministry, while noting the imperatives of the water transport to the Nigerian economic development, highlighted major infrastructure projects which were completed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) awaiting commissioning to include East and West Moles, Lagos. 1.6 Kilometer dual carriageway within Apapa, Lagos port complex, Julius Berger Terminal (C) in Warri old port and AMS Terminal (B) Warri old port both in warri.


The introduction and adoption of e-payment system, Oliseh said, had improved bill payment process from three to five days payment confirmation circle time to a couple of minutes (instant/real time confirmation) therefore reducing operational cost of shipping.
According to him, with regards to the water transport sector, “the main issue is trying to improve efficiency at the ports in terms of having our target 48 hour-clearance of goods. It’s not that there are certain goods that are cleared 24 hours as they come, but for Blue chip companies that have good integrity records with Nigerian customs, to have an average of 48-hour-clearance for all goods, that is what we are working on.

He admitted that even the existing ports are operating beyond their designed capacity, “so, we are doing everything possible to make sure that turn-around time for vessel, ship waiting time meet international timelines and expectations. At the same time, we have what we call Channel Management Arrangement (CMA) at the Lagos and Bonny Ports, where the NPA, in partnership with the private sector, are undertaking the management of the channels.


The ministry also disclosed that arrangements and contract for the dredging of the Benue River and construction of the river port in Makurdi has been awarded this year. Similarly, the development of a new deep seaport at Lekki in Lagos has been approved, while the Ibaka, Agge, Olokola, Badagry and Ogidigbe/Escravos deep seaports are being processed. The dredging of the harbors in Lagos and Bonny has been continuous to accommodate large ocean liners such as the West African Maximum (WAFMAX) Jumbo Cargo Vessels that carry 4,500 TEUs instead of conventional vessels of 2,500 TEUs, “and this is providing opportunities for trans-shipment to other ports in the country and neighboring countries to bolster economic development in Nigeria. Significant progress was also made to provide standard facilities, including RORO facilities in Bonny,” the ministry disclosed.

Also to ensure efficiency, safety and security in the waterways, Oliseh noted that the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) initiated and sponsored by N[b]igerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was fully on course, as many Nigerian cadets were undergoing training in Philippines, Egypt, India and United Kingdom among others. The ministry said the total number of beneficiaries of the programme was 2,505 with the agency planning to increase it to 5,000 next year and 10,000 by 2020. Out of the number of the beneficiaries, about 50 cadets have graduated.[/b]


“To ensure safety and security of the maritime domains of its member countries, the federal government is vigorously implementing the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Protocol on International Ships and Ports Security Facility Code (ISPSC).
“Nigerian maritime domain has been re-assessed and found to be ISPS Code compliant and subsequently given a pass mark and clean bill of health by the United States Government,” the permanent secretary told THISDAY recently.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/taking-stock-of-transformation-in-transport-sector/182102/
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by jamace(m): 1:44pm On Jun 29, 2014
Good.

1 Like

Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by mikolo80: 3:32pm On Jun 29, 2014
You cannot possibly be celebrating 1 train per week

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Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by FrankC3: 4:51pm On Jun 29, 2014
mikolo80: You cannot possibly be celebrating 1 train per week

On the Intra –City Mass Transit, the corporation has commenced the Lagos Mass Transit Train, from Apapa to Ijoko (16 trains per day, an average of 16,000 passengers daily), Kaduna Mass Transit Train services (10 trains daily, an average of 10,000 passengers), Kano to Challawa train services (6 trains daily), also the ministry has announced that efforts were on ground to restore the suspended Mass Transit services in Jos and Maiduguri occasioned by security challenges, “to ease the burden on roads as well as boost economic and social activities in the country.”


The railway corporation intercity passenger services are[b] Lagos to Kano express train services running twice a week; Offa to Kano train services, once a week; Lagos to Ibadan to Ilorin back to Lagos (three times a week, moving an average of 6,188 passengers)[/b]; Kaduna to Kafancha train (suspended due to ongoing rehabilitation work); Kano to Nguru back to Kano train service (Twice a week), moving an average of 850 passengers weekly) and the Highly patronised ‘Excursion Train’ during festivities.

You seem to have read a different article or running on a default 'criticize mode'. Where is '1 train per week' being celebrated?

4 Likes

Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by mikolo80: 5:24pm On Jun 29, 2014
Frank-C:




You seem to have read a different article or running on a default 'criticize mode'. Where is '1 train per week' being celebrated?
dude i foot criticize just deal in facts even the 1 train i rounded up for them.i live right next to train tracks i'm sure i'd know if 16 trains rolled through daily.
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by mikolo80: 5:30pm On Jun 29, 2014
Frank-C:




You seem to have read a different article or running on a default 'criticize mode'. Where is '1 train per week' being celebrated?
dude i dont criticize just laying out facts. even the 1 train i rounded up for them.i live right next to train tracks i'm sure i'd know if 16 trains rolled through dailyand yes its hard to read cluttered nigerians journalism using lots of unnecessary words to hide the fact that they really dont have much in terms of actionable intel(also guilty when answering qsn in school,not sure lecturers would appreciate my cried and summarised style ).but even 16 trains a day equals less than 1per hour...in lagos.not impressed,not impressed at all
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by FrankC3: 5:33pm On Jun 29, 2014
mikolo80: dude i foot criticize just deal in facts even the 1 train i rounded up for them.i live right next to train tracks i'm sure i'd know if 16 trains rolled through daily.

First off, I am not your 'dude'. I find it derogatory. Address the point I raised and forget the name calling.

Secondly, you can live right inside the train but you have practically no way of knowing the statistics if you are not in a position to know or if you are not informed. NRC just informed you of their statistics and you are telling me where you live.

The train schedules are there in NRC. Go to NRC and schedule a journey on one of those 16 or all of them and then, if you don't get to make your journey because of non existing schedule, then come back to NL, not before.

I am well aware of the present vibes of 'criticize the government and gain a few minutes of e-popularity' but it should be done intelligently.

3 Likes

Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by mikolo80: 5:48pm On Jun 29, 2014
Frank-C:


First off, I am not your 'dude'. I find it derogatory. Address the point I raised and forget the name calling.

Secondly, you can live right inside the train but you have practically no way of knowing the statistics if you are not in a position to know or if you are not informed. NRC just informed you of their statistics and you are telling me where you live.

The train schedules are there in NRC. Go to NRC and schedule a journey on one of those 16 or all of them and then, if you don't get to make your journey because of non existing schedule, then come back to NL, not before.

I am well aware of the present vibes of 'criticize the government and gain a few minutes of e-popularity' but it should be done intelligently.
sorry babes.just assumed youre a guy.bottom line i get that some effort is being made.just not sustainable and you should see how difficult it was to get information for a train going to kano from ibadan so dont be annoyed if govt propaganda doesnt fly on the streets.nobody cares about govt statistics what we care about is whether we can board a train at the agreed time to get to agreed destination in acceptable fashion.and its not about e popularity its patriotism / frustration with a govt that has the power to transform nigeria into el dorado but are busy living in the lap of luxury with our collective commonwealth
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by FrankC3: 6:14pm On Jun 29, 2014
mikolo80: sorry babes.just assumed youre a guy.bottom line i get that some effort is being made.just not sustainable and you should see how difficult it was to get information for a train going to kano from ibadan so dont be annoyed if govt propaganda doesnt fly on the streets.nobody cares about govt statistics what we care about is whether we can board a train at the agreed time to get to agreed destination in acceptable fashion.and its not about e popularity its patriotism / frustration with a govt that has the power to transform nigeria into el dorado but are busy living in the lap of luxury with our collective commonwealth

I will let your continued names calling slide. I hope we can have a mature discussion, devoid of childish short hands and unnecessary insinuations.

What day did you try to travel to Kano from Ibadan and could not get information? Where exactly did you seek this information? Secondly, what effort did you ever make to get information on the movement of trains and did not succeed? I will prefer if you provide information of what you experienced, not what someone else felt.

NRC is a government commission and provides information (not propaganda) on her activities, just like NCC or Boundary Commission. Thousands of people have used the train service this year and their only complaint is quality of services, not that the published schedules are wrong as you are pushing here.

And finally, no government anywhere in the world have the powers to transform the country into an El Dorado. What capitalist government does is to expand opportunities to enable her citizens transform their lives. Thousands of Nigerians use these rail lines. Those people did not have the option few years back. Lots of progress has been made particularly in rail transportation. Of course, there are still some challenges in service quality, just like in every transport business. Actually, as I am typing, Aero Contractors Airlines, a private coy delayed a 2:45pm flight to 5:40pm and as at now, the flight is yet to take off.

It is arrogant to assume that every other person making efforts to salvage our country from years of military rule is wrong but just you, armed with a PC and a keyboard is right. Transformation is a process, not a destination.
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by mikolo80: 7:00pm On Jun 29, 2014
Frank-C:


I will let your continued names calling slide. I hope we can have a mature discussion, devoid of childish short hands and unnecessary insinuations.

What day did you try to travel to Kano from Ibadan and could not get information? Where exactly did you seek this information? Secondly, what effort did you ever make to get information on the movement of trains and did not succeed? I will prefer if you provide information of what you experienced, not what someone else felt.

NRC is a government commission and provides information (not propaganda) on her activities, just like NCC or Boundary Commission. Thousands of people have used the train service this year and their only complaint is quality of services, not that the published schedules are wrong as you are pushing here.

And finally, no government anywhere in the world have the powers to transform the country into an El Dorado. What capitalist government does is to expand opportunities to enable her citizens transform their lives. Thousands of Nigerians use these rail lines. Those people did not have the option few years back. Lots of progress has been made particularly in rail transportation. Of course, there are still some challenges in service quality, just like in every transport business. Actually, as I am typing, Aero Contractors Airlines, a private coy delayed a 2:45pm flight to 5:40pm and as at now, the flight is yet to take off.

It is arrogant to assume that every other person making efforts to salvage our country from years of military rule is wrong but just you, armed with a PC and a keyboard is right. Transformation is a process, not a destination.
ok i get it you're old.wasn't calling names,was tryin to be friendly.so sorry if you feel offended.not my intention.i dont have a pc.its a nokia phone very difficult to type with hence shorthand/clipped responses. Wanted to get a train from ibadan train station in dugbe ibadan near cocoa house.wanted to transport a car.found its cheaper to use a trailer 130k vs. 240k.the train staff was not courteous,was not willing to task himself so he just called any figure he liked.obviously not the minister or presidents fault but i'm just pointing out that the civil service are terrible ambassadors and that is why its not easy to accept any "official " information[read propaganda] i foot expect the govt to solve every overnight but i'm just saying for the money they keep mentioning its too little too late especially when we see same govt officials and their children living large.it just doesn't tally.if you WOULD LIKE TO chat real time on whatsapp or bb let me know cos its hard to converse on a feature phone.dear sef de catch me make the number pad no scatter from overtyping
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by laudate: 12:03am On Aug 14, 2014
mikolo80: You cannot possibly be celebrating 1 train per week

Abeg, help me tell them. Should the newly revived railway train locomotives not be better than their predecessors?

Please see the debate here: https://www.nairaland.com/1581242/lagos-kano-train-43-hours/4

Lagos to Kano took almost 43 hours!! Na wetin?? angry

Do we value time, comfort and performance in this country?

The Japanese have a principle known as "Kaizen," which means continuous improvement. Why can't we take a leaf from them?
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by mikolo80: 8:41am On Aug 14, 2014
laudate:

Abeg, help me tell them. Should the newly revived railway train locomotives not be better than their predecessors?

Please see the debate here: https://www.nairaland.com/1581242/lagos-kano-train-43-hours/4

Lagos to Kano took almost 43 hours!! Na wetin?? angry

Do we value time, comfort and performance in this country?

The Japanese have a principle known as "Kaizen," which means continuous improvement. Why can't we take a leaf from them?
my brother i don tire o. He you see the way wan guy just de mention me unto say jonathan try for this nonsense they're claiming as achievement.at least i know somebody is still enlightened in this country. I no claim to sabi every but for the billions transport ministry abi railways is getting this na failure
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by laudate: 2:14pm On Aug 20, 2014
FrankC3:

I will let your continued names calling slide. I hope we can have a mature discussion, devoid of childish short hands and unnecessary insinuations.

What day did you try to travel to Kano from Ibadan and could not get information? Where exactly did you seek this information? Secondly, what effort did you ever make to get information on the movement of trains and did not succeed? I will prefer if you provide information of what you experienced, not what someone else felt.

NRC is a government commission and provides information (not propaganda) on her activities, just like NCC or Boundary Commission. Thousands of people have used the train service this year and their only complaint is quality of services, not that the published schedules are wrong as you are pushing here.

And finally, no government anywhere in the world have the powers to transform the country into an El Dorado. What capitalist government does is to expand opportunities to enable her citizens transform their lives. Thousands of Nigerians use these rail lines. Those people did not have the option few years back. Lots of progress has been made particularly in rail transportation. Of course, there are still some challenges in service quality, just like in every transport business. Actually, as I am typing, Aero Contractors Airlines, a private coy delayed a 2:45pm flight to 5:40pm and as at now, the flight is yet to take off.

It is arrogant to assume that every other person making efforts to salvage our country from years of military rule is wrong but just you, armed with a PC and a keyboard is right. Transformation is a process, not a destination.

Hmmn.... when was the last time you actually rode in a train in Nigeria? When was the last time you transacted business via rail?

No one is saying that the trains are not there, but they are OLD, EPILEPTIC, FILTHY, NOISY, EXTREMELY SLOW, POORLY SCHEDULED and can only carry a fraction of the passengers that actually need their services.

To get information on intra-city train schedules within Lagos, you need to physically go to the train station like Iddo terminus, Ebute-Metta Junction etc., to get any information about the train schedule. It doesn't matter if you live in Ajah, Badagry or Epe. You have to be physically present in person at the terminus to get any meaningful information, which can easily be obtained over the phone in other countries.

At the terminus, you will see some sheets of paper stuck on a wooden board with a list of train stations typed on it along with the corresponding timing and fares. angry

If you make the stupid mistake of relying on that information, you will live to regret it . Most of the information is out-dated or non-existent. I am speaking from personal experience and clear observation. Yet, you are saying, "Thousands of people have used the train service this year and their only complaint is quality of services, not that the published schedules are wrong as you are pushing here." Ok, I guess you conducted your own survey to arrive at these conclusions. undecided

At the begining of the year, there were train services to Abeokuta and Otta from Iddo, Lagos. For the past 3 months services have been suspended to those areas, yet NRC in its wisdom did not see it fit to notify anybody either by print or electronic media, and this outdated info is still widely displayed on their notice boards in each terminal. sad

In this day and age, NRC does not offer any dedicated customer care line to provide info to prospective and existing customers. There is no electronic notice board to notify you on when the next train is approaching or when it would depart.

Instead, at each terminus you find clueless, rude ticketing officers and a terrible lack of services/professional courtesy that makes you want to scream. angry

https://www.nairaland.com/909516/trains-getting-better-nigeria-picture#25285131

Lagos to Kano takes over 43 hours by rail, and we are celebrating this mediocre activity online instead of suggesting ways of improving rail services in the country. shocked

1 Like

Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by Nobody: 2:16pm On Aug 20, 2014
We No de see picture?
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by laudate: 2:30pm On Aug 20, 2014
barcanista: We No de see picture?

Bros, there is a very big difference between 'picture' and reality. sad

What is the train schedule, like? How many of them are actually running and what is the length of time spent on each leg of the journey?
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by comos: 2:34pm On Aug 20, 2014
when are they going to complete the eastern rail-line?
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by Nobody: 2:37pm On Aug 20, 2014
laudate:

Bros, there is a very big difference between 'picture' and reality. sad

What is the train schedule, like? How many of them are actually running and what is the length of time spent on each leg of the journey?
Their own achievement is only on paper and internet. Nothing on ground
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by akinsdeji(m): 4:26pm On Aug 20, 2014
At the pace the railway transformation is going, its will take us like forever before we see result,I boarded the train from abeokuta to ota and we spend 3hrs plus,α 30min trip by car.I tire for naija Jare
Re: Taking Stock Of Transformation In Transport Sector by laudate: 11:01pm On Aug 26, 2014
akinsdeji: At the pace the railway transformation is going, its will take us like forever before we see result,I boarded the train from abeokuta to ota and we spend 3hrs plus,α 30min trip by car.I tire for naija Jare

Am sure the trip was not done recently. Two weeks ago, there were no train services to Abeokuta. No reason and no explanation has been offered by NRC. And this has been the situation for the past few months...

Yet, if you go to Iddo terminus they have pasted the schedule on thier wooden notice board in black & white, as if regular rail services are available and are still running to Abeokuta on schedule. May God save us from misinformation emanating from official quarters in Nigeria! angry

Just read this article to see what Nigerians are going through on our 'trains' in 2014!

http://www.punchng.com/special-feature/on-nigerian-trains-passengers-are-like-refugees-1/



On Nigerian trains, passengers are like refugees (1) by Punch Newspapers

Passengers turn refugees

Many of the passengers, especially the women, spread their wrappers on the bare floor and slept like refugees in front of the train station in anticipation of the good news that was not forthcoming.

When the night fell, the train station was thrown into darkness even when a few hours of low current which could hardly provide illumination was noticed in some of the mud houses in the nearby community.

Investigations by this correspondent revealed that the train station had long been cut off from the national grid. However, the hopes of many who had thought that the coach will be powered were dashed as the officials switched off the power compartment three minutes after putting it on.

Explaining the reason for throwing the over 500 passengers into darkness, an official who craved anonymity says the fuel provided for them is being rationed, adding that no provision was made for them before leaving Offa to refuel in case of unforeseen circumstances.

“We cannot put on the generator. They gave us the exact fuel that will take us from Offa to Kano. If it gets finished on our way, there is no extra fuel. Besides, we will get a query in the event that the fuel does not take us to our destination,” he notes.

As the stranded passengers took positions on the coaches and on the premises of the train station, mosquitoes went on the rampage biting them voraciously.

“How do I prevent this baby from malaria attack with the way and manner mosquitoes have bombarded us this night?” Bola voices her concern as she petted her 10-week-old son to sleep on the coach.

Tempers flare

Obiora, the Kaduna conference attendee, had become disenchanted. It was already a few minutes past seven in the evening. The conference he was supposed to attend had started. This time, the conference coordinators had begun bombarding his telephone with calls asking for his whereabouts.

He laments, “I’m psychologically down. They (railway officials) don’t even care about our welfare. We started this journey yesterday and we are still here at this time. They packed us inside here as if we are sardines. They don’t even care about our welfare. Not even a decision to address us on this development. I think I have passed through all this stage.

“If you have something serious to do you can’t board these Nigerian trains or else, hypertension will kill you aboard the coach. I will never board again. Nothing will ever take me to NRC again. I paid for service and what I get in return is a very bad experience.”

http://www.punchng.com/special-feature/on-nigerian-trains-passengers-are-like-refugees-2/

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