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Demand for rail services rises as NRC generates N2.1bn in six months

By Benjamin Alade
24 September 2021   |   2:45 am
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) generated N2.1 billion as revenue from passengers and cargo within the first half of 2021 an apparent reflection of the rising demand for rail services in the country...

[FILES] Nigerian Railway Corporation Office

•Cost of bus transportation rises 50%
•Agency refutes online recruitment process

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) generated N2.1 billion as revenue from passengers and cargo within the first half of 2021 an apparent reflection of the rising demand for rail services in the country, the latest report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), titled: ‘Rail Transportation Data Q2’, has shown.

According to the report, NRC generated N1.08 billion from passengers in Q2 2021 against N892.47 million in Q1 2021.
Goods and cargo in Q2 2021 generated N71.56 million against N26.19 million in Q1 2021, while income from other receipts stood at N41 million in the last six months.

The latest figures showed that the rail transport system is growing in demand in Nigeria, with the number of train passengers surging in recent times and revenue skyrocketing, especially with the newly inaugurated Lagos-Ibadan railway project.

Further analysis of the report shows that the corporation recorded its highest revenue from passengers in Q2 2021 with N1.08 billion, while the lowest revenue generation from passengers was recorded in the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), with N320.34 million.

It further revealed 565,385 passengers travelled via the rail system in Q2 2021 against 108,238 passengers recorded in Q2 2020 and 424,460 in Q1 2021.

This represented a 422.35 per cent growth year-on-year (YoY) and 33.20 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ).From all categories, the year 2020 (particularly Q2 2020) suffered the most losses and turnout of passengers due to the COVID-19 lockdown imposed by the federal government to curtail the spread of the virus across Nigeria.

In June, the NBS had said the NRC generated N5.79 billion as revenue from passengers and cargo between 2019 and the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2021).

Similarly, in its Transport Fare Watch by NBS, the average bus fare paid by commuters for journeys within cities across states of the federation increased by 50 per cent year-on-year to N430.58 per drop constant route in August 2021 from N286.99 in the same time of last year.

According to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the cost of bus transportation also increased by five per cent month-on-month from N410.2 in July 2021.

A look at the price watch for individual states showed that residents of Zamfara and Bauchi States paid the highest average fare for bus Journey within cities during the review period at N670.3 and N635.1 per drop constant route respectively.

This was followed by Taraba State where commuters paid approximately N550.1 on average for bus transportation within cities in the state.

In contrast, Oyo State recorded the lowest average price during the reference period as people paid N220.5 to move by bus from one city to another within the inland state of southwestern Nigeria.

Behind Oyo were Abia and Borno States where the average cost of the bus transport service stood at N239.4 and N297.2 respectively.

Similarly, the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys from one city to another (intercity) also went up by 1.8 per cent month-on-month to N2,588.7 in August 2021 from N2,542.95.

According to the data, the state with the highest bus journey fare intercity within the period was the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja where commuters paid N4,700.1 to travel to another city.

This was followed by Lagos and Sokoto where it recorded an average price as high as N3,600 and N3,450.2 respectively, while the lowest average cost was recorded in Bayelsa (N1,859.36), Bauchi (N1,900.60), and Akwa Ibom (N1,950.20) accordingly.

MEANWHILE, NRC has refuted claims of a purported recruitment exercise it is conducting. Indeed, the claim has been circulating on various social media platforms inviting the general public, particularly job seekers, to apply for employment at NRC.

However, the board of NRC, in a statement by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Yakub Mahmood, said the advert is completely unfounded.

“NRC hereby refutes that fictitious publication designed and orchestrated by scammers and fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting applicants, as there is no recruitment exercise in NRC at the moment.

“Therefore, NRC advises the general public especially, prospective applicants, to disregard the fake news on NRC recruitment exercises,” he said.

For motorcycle transportation, the average fare paid by commuters per drop increased by 3.2 per cent month-on-month to N303.25 in August 2021 from N294.02. On a year-on-year basis, it also went up by 54.2 per cent from N196.7 it cost last year.

In addition, commuters in Yobe who opted for motorcycle transportation within the period paid the highest average at N500.5 per drop. Behind this were Lagos and Taraba state where it cost N487.2 and N465.1 respectively.

However, it was paid for at the lowest in states like Adamawa at N107.1, Niger at N180.1, as well as, Katsina at N180.3 per drop.

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