21 October 2012

Nigeria: Collapsed Bridge Hinders Resumption of Train Services, Says NRC

The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) said yesterday that the collapse of the a railway bridge in Minna has stalled the movement of goods and passenger services train from Lagos to Kano.

Mr Adeseyi Sijuade, the Managing Director of the corporation disclosed this when the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, led the Good Governance Team on a visit to the area.

The team visited the completed project site of the two railway bridges that were washed away by flood three years ago.

Sijuade said that the two collapsed railway bridges at Akere,had now been completed and certified by the government inspector of railway.

"The good news is that it was earlier this week that the government inspector of railway certified the completion of the Akere Bridge.

"Starting from next week, we will introduce our goods and passenger services train from Lagos to Zungeru.

According to him, trains currently move from Minna to Kano.

He, however, said that the current problem was the collapsed bridge at Minna.

"The problem now is a collapsed railway bridge at Minna which is being addressed.

"Once it is done in the next three weeks, trains can now move from Lagos to Kano."

Responding, Maku said that the visit had shown that the Federal Government was sincere in its promise of reviving the rail transport system in order to ease pressure on the roads and boost economic activities in the country.

"What we did today was a demonstration ride to confirm to Nigerians that the rehabilitation of the railway has moved from Lagos to Zungeru in Niger state.

"It means that we can now move our goods and services regularly from Lagos to Zungeru due to the completion of the rehabilitation of Akere bridge," he said.

The minister expressed optimism that by the end of November, the rehabilitation work would be completed between Zungeru and Minna, to enable trains to move directly from Lagos to Kano.

Also speaking, Malam Mohammed Garba, the National President of the NUJ, commended the Federal Government for reviving the rail transport to ease pressure on the roads, thereby boosting economic activities in the country.

"The NUJ strongly believes that if there is one area where Mr President is doing well, it is in the area of rail transport.

"We are really impressed with the high quality job," Garba said.


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