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NRC recounts losses, to resume Lagos-Kano train service

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[FILES] Nigerian Railway Corporation Office

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has concluded plans to resume the Lagos-Kano express train service that was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Regional District Manager for Lagos, Jerry Oche, said the NRC would revive the Lagos-Kano long-haul trip with the movement of over 6000 pipes belonging to the Kaduna State Water Corporation to Zaria.

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Speaking with reporters after he was conferred with the award of Best Railway District Manager in Lagos recently, Oche said the Lagos-Kano narrow gauge track was ready for the resumption of activities.

He said because of the suspension of activities due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some individuals began to vandalise the tracks.

“But if there are activities on the tracks, the vandalisation will reduce,” he stated.

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Oche disclosed that many people have been arrested and currently in the custody of the Railway Police Command for vandalisation of the tracks on the Lagos-Kano axis.

Speaking further, the RDM said the losses by the corporation due to the suspension of activities on the Lagos corridor could not be quantified.

“Before COVID-19, we move 10,000 people every day in Lagos alone on our Mass Transit Train (MTT) from Lagos to Ijoko, Ogun State,” he said.

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He said apart from COVID-19, the NRC was also compelled to reduce the train services on the Lagos axis because of the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge.

According to him, the movement of the pipes to Zaria would serve as a test-run for the Lagos-Kano mass transit.

He said: “As I am talking to you, the stretch (Lagos-Kano track) is okay. If we don’t start activities on it even as we are here seated some group of people might go somewhere and remove something. It has to be busy and even if it is busy because of the location of the lines, the probability that if I send a train from here and before it gets to Kutigi, it will be vandalized, I can’t give you 100 per cent, but I believe that if there is activity on the line, the vandalisation will reduce.

“We have two narrow gauge rail cars and two rail buses bought recently. We deployed the two railbuses for the narrow gauge to Minna and Ibadan. The one in Minna is patrolling the line every day while the one at Ibadan is patrolling between the Western district and Lagos district.

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