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FG sets up team to unbundle railways

By Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos on 02/08/2018

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•Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi
•Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi

The Federal Government has set up a team for the proposed unbundling of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) that would see the entity being broken into three or four groups, Daily Trust can report.

The planned unbundling of the NRC is for efficiency and better service delivery as the country invests in railway modernization. Our correspondent learnt that the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has put in place a team led by the Managing Director of the NRC to work out the modalities.

The minister, while speaking with newsmen recently in Lagos, confirmed the planned unbundling, but said the MD of the NRC had been given the mandate to come up with the modalities.

“I have put a team on ground to do a study and send it to me. Until they send that to me, I can’t speak more on it. But I think we need to unlock what we currently have because we seem to be overwhelmed.”

Amaechi said: “We are looking at the possibility. I discussed with the managing director that there is the need to break Nigerian Railway Corporation into three. One that owns the assets - the tracks and it is in charge of maintenance of the tracks and all railway assets and then one that operates. So you have the Nigerian Railway Corporation that does the running of passenger trains and all that. Then you have one that does marketing and all that.”

Daily Trust, however, reports that the planned unbundling aligns with the plan of the National Assembly which in 2016 started the process of unbundling the railway corporation.

The Senate Land Transportation Committee chaired by Lagos Senator Gbenga Ashafa is proposing to create the National Railway Authority, the Independent Railway Regulatory Commission and the Railway Operators’ scheme.

The bill being proposed also seeks to reduce the power of Federal Government as sole operators and regulators of railway.

The bill by the committee entitled, ‘Review of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Repeal and Re-Enactment Bill’, restricts the Ministry of Transportation to policy making, while the National Railway Authority is to manage the infrastructure, pending the establishment of a National Transport Commission.

To achieve the objectives, the Senate Committee on Land Transport, composed a technical committee made up of engineers in the private sector to review the existing NRC Act and come up with modalities that would enhance efficiency in the sector.

Culled fom a Daily Trust report

Source News Express

Posted 02/08/2018 12:27:40 PM





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