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More questions trail poor results of massive investments in railway

Since the recent rail accident near Agege area of Lagos State where about nine passengers hanging atop the roof of the rail cabin were knocked down and killed, Nigerians are asking the real use of the multibillion naira pumped into railway by former president Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan administrations.

Latest discovery showed massive infrastructural decay at several Nigerian railway terminals including Ogun, Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Agbor railway terminals, as Warri-Ajaokuta route remain uncompleted upon all current administration’s promises.

Reacting to the death of commuters, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said it is drawing up measures to put a stop to people from sitting on top of moving trains or hanging to coaches in Lagos State.

Several industry analysts have queried why upon the acclaimed massive investments so far made in the nation’s railway transport sub sector, Lagos route is yet to given the modern railway machines so as to end the reckless hanging on top of the moving train.

The Railway District Manager (RDM) in Lagos, Jerry Oche, told newsmen on Monday that the corporation was working out a permanent solution to the issue.

He said despite fines, police arrests and arraignment of culprits, the trend has continued unabated on train routes in the state.

Oche noted that “We are working on the permanent solution to make it impossible for anybody to ride on the top of the roof,” and appealed to Nigerians to comply with global railway standard.

According to him, “The rules are clear and do not permit standing, sitting on the roof or hanging to the door of a train”.

“If you board a train and before it takes off you discover there is no seat, or it is not convenient for you, you can return your ticket and get a refund; it is easy.

Though he argued that “The excuses often given by those who ride on the roof top of trains that there are inadequate coaches are not tenable,” he did not make any comment that suggests readiness of the government or the Corporation to inject more trains.

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