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Workers commend FG for reconstituting national council on privatisation


Nigerian Railway Corporation Office

The Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR) has commended the Federal Government for reconstituting the National Council on Privatisation (NCP). It said the statutory Act of Parliament, 1955, which confers monopoly of railway business on the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) was yet to be unbundled and replaced with a legal framework that would provide both public and private investors a level playing ground on investments in rail transportation.

Secretary General of NUR, Comrade Segun Esan, said the workers gave their approval for reconstituting the NCP by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo. He hinted that the inauguration of the council would check the speed at which the Federal Ministry of Transportation was going about the concession of the Nigerian Railway’s 3’505km narrow gauge track system to the American consortium, General Electric (GE).

“The federal government has just taken a bold and right step by reconstituting the NCP,” he said. He, however, said it was worrisome to concession the railways to General Electric (GE) for of 30 years without regard for transparency, railway workers’ participation and without any known plans to engage the workers on how to solve evolving labour-related issues without which the planned concession will be another monumental failure as usual.

President of the NUR, Comrade Saidu Garba, expressed skepticism about the success of the planned concession of the Nigerian Railway narrow gauge track, referring to the post-privatization failure of former Federal Government parastatals.

“Upon realising that the Federal Government has the right to do whatever it likes with its enterprises, we have so decided not to dissipate our energy unnecessarily to stop government from selling its assets than to give our candid advice as social partners and stakeholders in the sub-sector” he said.

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