Railway Sector: NRC Raises Alarm Over Vandalisation Of Rail Facilities.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, has raised alarm over the persistent vandalisation of railway tracks and equipment across the country.
In an interactive session with newsmen at the NRC headquarters in Lagos, Managing Director of the Corporation, Mr. Fidet Okhiria, said some bad Nigerians were out to sabotage the efforts of the Federal Government to revive the rail sector.
Mr. Okhiria, said that the trend of vandalisation of railway equipment had extended to the newly constructed standard gauge tracks.
These included the Lagos-Ibadan, the Abuja-Kaduna and Warri-Itakpe Standard Gauge Train Services.
According to him, the trend is becoming serious and alarming.
He called on Nigerians to prevail on those sabotaging the railway by removing equipment on both the standard and narrow gauge.
He said, “Some people are trying to spoil what all of us have tried to put in place by going to the extent of vandalization, removing clips and all sorts of negative things to sabotage the system.
“I know with your support and cooperation, people will be properly educated. Sabotaging the rail and sabotaging the track of rail infrastructure is not in the best interest of Nigeria.
“It is good that we maintain what we have and we keep it working so that those of us that are alive and using it now will leave it behind for generations to come, so that they can appreciate the legacy we are working hard to leave behind.
“So it is becoming alarming and very serious. I don’t want to mention particular regions but people are sabotaging the tracks so bad mostly on the narrow gauge, up till the extent of going to the standard gauge. We have had issues between Papalanto and Abeokuta. We have had issues close to Kaduna on the standard gauge and we have issue close to Ajaokuta, of people trying to vandalize the tracks and even stealing the coaches.
“The government are on the right path listening to us and they are taking it passionately, doing everything possible to ensure that the rail will service everybody.”
On measures being taken to forestall the attacks on railway facilities and equipment, the Mr. Fidet Okhiria, said the Corporation is sensitising members of communities around the railway corridors, engaging security agents to deepen patrol of the corridors and also deploying technology like sensors and the satellite systems to prevent vandalisation.
“We will also design clips that will make it difficult for people to unscrew and remove the rails,” he added.