As part of measures towards ensuring that railway system in Nigeria is in the required standard, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says it is expecting ten new coaches for the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge to be added to the existing ones in July to increase the number of its daily trips.
This was made known recently in Abuja by The Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria while talking to newsmen.
According to him: “I am happy to announce that we are expecting some coaches very soon. We have already ordered 10 and hopefully we will order another seven. When that comes, there will be train at least every one hour, so that people will programme themselves. We are targeting June or July to get the new coaches.”
He also used the medium to address the issue of alleged bribery and extortion by some NRC officials who indulge themselves in graft practices, noting that four officers had so far been arrested and would soon be sanctioned accordingly.
The NRC chief also gave the assurance said that the corporation is making frantic efforts with a view to ensuring that the coaches are clean and are in good condition for comfort of passengers.
He stated that: “Four persons have been caught collecting money from passengers and were sanctioned; we have also provided small Naira denominations to avoid issue of change at train stations. So, no official at the train stations will say that there is no change; passengers should not accept that.
“We have an arrangement with a third party for cleaning of coaches and I am going to take the company on that. Because if we are getting reports of them not doing their work, they will not be paid,’’ Okhiria said.
Okhiria disclosed that with the reopening of the Abuja Airport, the train would only run two trips week days and one weekend trip.
“We work extra hard to keep those three trips and we have just one rail. We do not operate trains like that. We will go back to twice a day trips from next week and on Sunday we will run one trip,’’ the NRC boss said.
It should be noted that the administration of Goodluck Jonathan that revived the railway system after some years it was in moribund state.