Yesterday on the News i heard the Senate President lament as he pressed on the issue of knowing what is the root of our problem in the railway sector. The railway corporation started way back 1955. As of 2003, Nigeria rail system had 3,557kilometers of track which runs through to major rail lines, one from Lagos on the bight of Benin through Nguru the Northern part of Nigeria and the other connects Port Harcourt and Maiduguri of Borno State.
In order to remedy the poor condition, efficiency, and profitability of the nation’s railways, the government is seeking to privatize the Nigerian Railway Corporation. Lagos state, Rivers and Balyelsa state have all talked about undergoing major railway projects. I don’t know but i think as David Mark said we should first look deep into the root of the problem which i must list a few:
Maintenance: It was provided in the Railway Act of 1995(amended) that the Chairman should appoint a rail way supervisor. Even with this provision the lack of implementation has impeded the growth of the system. Supervisory services must be provided to always ensure that the railway and trains are well maintained with adequate report to show that supervision had been carried out.
Funds: Many at times we hear that alot of money has been pumped into repairing and restructuring of the railway system, like in the case of 2006 when BBC announced China was to build back Nigerian Railway. A contract was awarded to CCECC costing a total of $8bn from Lagos to Kano 1,315km, The president at that time witness the signing of the contract which was said to be the first phase. Now, I ask what happened to CCECC and the contract? What happened to the money? Which body was put in place to monitor the project? how can it cost so much ? we must know, don’t you think so.
Will: Is the government really willing to change the situation of the rail way system? Or are they focusing on the development of roads and just blabbing about the railways, because as earlier mentioned why are they not talk about probing the lasting administration for the contract given out which has not yet been completed, and if work is in progress why is no one saying anything about the progress of work. We talk about re-branding, a great concept by the Minister of information, but how does she plan on changing the mind set of the leaders ? That politics should not be all talk and no action.
With a project of this magnitude you cant imagine the amount of jobs that will be created, if we are truthful to ourself. I love my country and I want things to change but we must continue to pressurise the government, we have the money now, why wait and allow the people suffer. every one is talking about alternative source of Fuel, times are changing we must do the best we can do for the nation now. I pray that all politicians will put greed aside and promote growth.