Chairman of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Usman Abubakar, says the country’s railway system is back on track and now traverses about 3,000 kilometres across the country.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja, Abubakar said the NRC was currently working at 90 per cent with regular movement in most stations.
He said that the Federal Government had resolved to continue to develop the rail system such that a journey from Abuja to Kaduna would take just one and a half hours.
Abubakar said that NRC had developed a 25-year-development programme, which had started with installation of the Kaduna-Abuja standard gauge.
He said that the corporation planned to extend the standard gauge to other parts of the country.
“There are about 3,000 kilometres of rail line in Nigeria and I can tell you that it is working 90 per cent.
“In some stations you see trains every two weeks and in some one week and still moving and that is why I said that the Railway system is back on track.
“We will continue to work until we cover every state capital and the major commercial and business towns in the country.
“This is a 25-year-Development Programme and we are going to see that work starts from Lagos to Ibadan and possibly Kano-Kaduna, Calabar- Port Harcourt and others that are going to come up.
“This is a programme that will link North and South and coastal areas, so that Nigerians can have a comfortable ride, moving passengers and freight across the states of the federation.
“This is the beginning and it will continue until we achieve our objective.’’
Safety of railway system
On safety, the NRC chairman said that security and safety were the major advantage of the railway system, adding that the possibility of train accident was minimal or non-existence.
According to him, security is the major selling point of travelling by rail in this country because as we have highway robberies, those are basically non-existent on the railway.
He explained that the government had put adequate security measure in place to checkmate activities of vandals.
Abubakar said that so far, there had been minor cases of vandalism on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line