NRC Reduces Lagos-Ibadan Trips Due To Rising Diesel Costs

A file photo of a Nigerian train

 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says it has reduced the number of trips on the Lagos-Ibadan train service due to the hike in the price of automotive gas oil, better known as diesel.

Channels Television gathered that the move would hamper the revenue drive of the sector, as rail transport raked in N6 billion last year.

In an interview on Tuesday, NRC Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, said the corporation has cut down the number of return trips on the route from six to two every day.

READ ALSO: Ikoyi Building Collapse: Regulatory Bodies Neglected Best Practices, Says Coroner

“The Lagos-Ibadan train service is running, but we have reduced the number of trips on that route because of the diesel problem. We reduced the number of trips we are running because of the hike in diesel price,” Okhiria told The Punch.

“We are now doing two return trips as against six, which by now should have gone to 10. So we run just two trips now due to the diesel problem.”

According to the NRC boss, it was outside the corporation’s powers to hike fares, despite the rising cost of operations.

He however stated that the corporation had sent recommendations to the federal ministry of transportation for an adjustment in the train fare.

“We just can’t increase it by ourselves. The government has to do that. We have made some recommendations. But even with the recommendations we made, the new price of diesel has overshot our workings as contained in the recommendations.

“However, we don’t want to price ourselves out of the market too, because the price of petrol is not increasing as such, rather the increase is little when compared to diesel price. And you know we are competing with transporters on roads, ” Okhiria added.

The price of diesel has hit N800 per litre, representing a 28 per cent increase — it sold for 625/litre in March.

Insecurity: NRC Suspends Train Services On Lagos, Abuja, Kano Routes

Train routes have been the target of attacks in recent times.

 

The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has suspended the train services on the Lagos, Ajaokuta and Abuja routes over safety concerns.

The Managing Director of the NRC Fidet Okhiria confirmed this to Channels Television on Wednesday. He said this followed a report of an attempted kidnapping of passengers that left the Ajaokuta Station by road on their way to Abuja.

According to him, the passengers and their vehicles were shot at in the process but he said they escaped from the attackers.

READ ALSOTerrorists Release Five More Abducted Kaduna Train Attack Victims

Okhiria explained that the passengers have been advised to use any of the adjacent stations in Itakpe (north) or Itogbo (south) until the security situation in the area improves.

The NRC MD said the Warri-Itakppe train service is still on as the train left Warri this morning on its way to Itakpe.

“Similarly, in compliance with the Honourable Minister’s directive, the Abuja to Kaduna passenger train service remains suspended until all the passengers held hostage as a result of the train attack by the bandits are completely released to their relations and the additional security system is put in place to avoid reoccurrence,” the NRC said in another statement issued by the organisation.

“In addition, the Lagos to Kano Express passenger train will not resume operation following suspected bandits’ presence along the Minna to Kaduna rail corridor in the North Western district of the Corporation.”

The statement came just hours after five more kidnapped passengers of the ill-fated Kaduna-Abuja train were released by their abductors.

With the recently freed victims, the number of released passengers has now swelled to 37. As of now, 35 persons are still in captivity.

But it is unclear if any ransom was paid for the recently released persons.

NRC Cancels Resumption Of Train Services On Abuja-Kaduna Route

This Kaduna-bound train was attacked by armed gangs on March 28, 2022.

 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Friday suspended the resumption of train services on the Abuja-Kaduna route amid pressure from families of victims abducted by terrorists.

Gunmen had on March 28 used explosives to kill nine passengers and injured others while kidnapping about 50 victims, the NRC suspended operations on the route indefinitely.

However, the corporation announced earlier in the week that it will resume services on May 23, a situation that did not augur well with the victims’ families who threatened to disrupt operations.

But in a statement issued by NRC’s spokesman, Yakub Mahmood, the agency said a new date would be announced soonest.

“Sequel to our earlier Press Release No. 10 dated 16th May 2022 on the above
caption, the General Public is kindly invited to note the Nigerian Railway
Corporation (NRC) is announcing a shift in the resumption date for Abuja Kaduna,” he said in the statement.

While apologising for the delay in the resumption of train services, Mahmood assured the distraught families that it was working hard to secure the victims’ release.

READ ALSO: Several Feared Injured As Bandits Attack Abuja-Kaduna Train

“The NRC will continue to cooperate and collaborate with the Federal Government in its uncompromising mandate of protecting the territorial integrity and the internal security of Nigeria for safeguarding the lives and properties of its citizens especially as it concerns the rail sub-sector,” the statement read in part.

“In the same vein, we once again identify with the relatives of those in captivity on the account of the recent attack on AKTS to be rest assured that the Federal Government is alive to its responsibility for the safe rescue of all persons being held, hostage.

“We, therefore, appeal, particularly to the relatives of persons held hostage to be patient and cooperate with the Corporation and the Security Agencies as the Federal Government is exploring all possible ways and means to ensure the safe release of their loved ones from captivity, soonest. The NRC expresses its profound gratitude to the security agencies for the continued support.”

Kaduna Train Attack: Falana Accuses Amaechi, NRC MD Of Negligence, Calls For Their Prosecution

Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi visited the scene of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack on March 29, 2022.
Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi visited the scene of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack on March 29, 2022.

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana has accused the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the Managing Director (MD) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Fidet Okhiria of negligence in the attack on a train plying the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.

He is also calling for their prosecution, according to a statement he issued on Monday.

The legal practitioner referenced reports of attacks on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line and accused the corporation and Amaechi of not taking enough measures to forestall the latest incident.

READ ALSO: Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack: ‘I Warned That Lives Will Be Lost’ – Amaechi

“Although both Messrs Amaechi and Okhiria knew that the Abuja-Kaduna train was not safe they kept on giving passengers a false sense of security.

“Since both of them knew that the tragedy that befell the nation last week was waiting to happen and did not adopt measures to prevent it, the President should direct the Inspector-General of Police to investigate and prosecute them for criminal negligence.

“Meanwhile, both of them should not be allowed to continue to risk the lives of train passengers in the country.”

He said contrary to claims by the NRC that there is no fraud in the sales of train tickets, a ticket racketeering syndicate was arrested in 2019. Since then, he said the NRC has not been able to crack down on other syndicates operating in the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan train stations.

According to him, the corporation and the ministry is legally bound to bear the cost of treatment for those injured during the incident.

“It is indisputable that the loss of lives, personal injury, and abduction of passengers by the terrorists was caused ‘by want of reasonable care, diligence or skill on the part of the Corporation or its servants’,” he maintained.

“In other words, top officials of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the Ministry of Transportation are liable for the criminal negligence that caused the bomb attack.”

More Than 150 Still Missing After Kaduna Train Attack

Photo of the damaged AK9 Abuja-Kaduna train

 

One week after gunmen attacked a train with explosives in Kaduna State, the whereabouts of 168 passengers are still unknown, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said.

At least eight people were killed and others missing on March 28 when gunmen detonated a bomb on the track and opened fire on the train linking the capital Abuja with the northwestern city of Kaduna.

President Muhammadu Buhari had said some passengers had been kidnapped and survivors said gunmen had snatched a number of passengers, but it is not clear how many.


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It was the latest deadly assault blamed on heavily armed criminal gangs known locally as bandits in the region.

In a statement late Sunday, the NRC said of the 362 passengers on board the train when it was attacked, 186 had been confirmed safe.

“Of the 362 validated passengers on board the attacked AK9 train service on March 28, 186 persons on the manifest are confirmed to be safe and at their various homes,” it said.

The NRC said of the remaining 176 passengers, eight have been confirmed dead, leaving the whereabouts of 168 still unknown.

It said efforts were still underway to rescue the missing passengers.

The corporation said damaged track and coaches were being repaired while services on the Abuja-Kaduna route had been “temporarily suspended”.

Two days earlier, gunmen killed a perimeter security guard in an attack at Kaduna airport before armed forces intervened.

Gunmen also attacked the same railway line with explosives in October.

Bandit gangs in the northwest and central Nigerian states have long terrorised communities, conducting mass kidnappings for ransom, raiding villages and stealing cattle.

But their violence has intensified. Gunmen often arrive in their scores by motorbike, sometimes striking several villages, killing and abducting residents.

Gunmen have also targeted highways for kidnappings between the capital and cities such as Kaduna and the northwestern commercial hub Kano.

Nigeria’s military has been carrying out operations and air strikes to clear bandits out of their camps hidden in forests across several states in the northwest. But the violence has continued.

Security forces are also battling Nigeria’s 12-year jihadist insurgency in the northeast that has killed 40,000 people and displaced more than two million more.

Passengers ‘Stuck In The Forest’ As Lagos-Ibadan Train Reportedly Runs Out Of Fuel

This combination of photos posted by Twitter user King Isaiah Obadare on March 10, 2022, shows a stationary train in the middle of nowhere,
This combination of photos posted by Twitter user King Isaiah Obadare on March 10, 2022, shows a stationary train in an unconfirmed location.

 

A train travelling from Ibadan to Lagos ran out of fuel on Thursday while in transit, according to a Twitter user.

King Isaiah Obadare said passengers and crew were “stuck in the forest” before a drum of diesel arrived and the train was refueled.

When contacted by channelstv.com, a Nigeria Railway Corporation spokesperson Mahmood Yakubu, said he does not comment on “anything online.”

He however stressed that a train expected from Ibadan had arrived in Lagos.

Diesel prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks across the country.

 

 

Railway Workers Begin Three-Day Nationwide Warning Strike

Nigerian Railway Corporation workers during their protest at Idu Station, Abuja. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Railway workers in the country have commenced a three-day warning strike, grounding rail services nationwide.

The workers commenced the strike on Thursday and shut down passenger and cargo train services of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

In Abuja, the nation’s capital, workers in Idu locked the station and displayed various placards in protest.

At the Mobolaji Johnson Train Station in Ebute-Metta in Lagos, aggrieved workers were also seen with placards, lamenting poor welfare and poor salary.

Nigerian Railway Corporation workers during their protest at Idu Station, Abuja. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Train service at the Professor Wole Soyinka railway station in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital was also paralysed because of the industrial action.

The railway terminus was deserted as workers abandoned their duty posts.

No passenger was seen around, tickets, luggage, and passengers lounge areas as they were under lock and key.

The NRC employees under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers earlier on Wednesday vowed to halt train operations nationwide including services on the popular Lagos-Ibadan, Abuja-Kaduna, and Warri-Itakpe routes.

See more photos from the protest below…

NGO Warns Pandemic To Aggravate Africa’s ‘Neglected’ Crises

Motorcyclists drive past a barricade in the road at the Kinshasa Grand market on June 9, 2020, during a demonstration where demonstrators ask for the re-opening of the shops around there which has been closed by the government as a precautionary measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. – At least three people were reported dead by local authorities. ARSENE MPIANA / AFP.

 

The new coronavirus pandemic risks aggravating the woes of people already suffering from the world’s most neglected crises, especially in Africa, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) aid group said Wednesday.

“COVID-19 is spreading across Africa, and many of the most neglected communities are already devastated by the economic shocks of the pandemic,” NRC’s secretary-general Jan Egeland said.

His remarks came as he presented his organisation’s annual report on “the most neglected crises in the world”.

“We need solidarity with these conflict-stricken communities now more than ever, so the virus does not add more unbearable disaster to the myriad of crises they already face,” he said in a statement.

According the report, nine of the world’s 10 most neglected crises are in Africa, with Cameroon topping the list for the second year in a row.

Venezuela was the only non-African country on the list.

Healthcare systems in these impoverished countries are not in a position to cope with the health crisis brought on by the pandemic, NRC said.

READ ALSO: Elevated Extreme Poverty To Persist Through 2021 – World Bank

According to AFP’s tally, Africa has officially reported 5,354 COVID-19 deaths and 197,823 confirmed cases.

Cameroon has been gripped by violence since a separatist revolt by the country’s English-speaking minority began in October 2017, claiming more than 3,000 lives and forcing nearly 700,000 people to flee their homes.

The Democratic Republic of Congo came in second on the list, followed by Burkina Faso, which was added to the list for the first time.

“The deep crises represented by millions of displaced Africans are yet again the most underfunded, ignored and deprioritised in the world,” Egeland said.

“Despite facing a tornado of emergencies, their SOS calls for help fall on deaf ears,” he added.

The NRC’s list is based on three criteria: lack of funding to respond to humanitarian needs, lack of media coverage, and political negligence.

AFP

COVID-19: NRC Halts All Passenger Railway Services

Passengers about to board a train in Lagos. Photos: Dare Idowu/Channels TV

 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Saturday said it was suspending all passenger railway services in the country, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The suspension is set to take effect on Monday, March 23.

In a statement signed by an NRC spokesman, Yakub Mahmood, the NRC said “further information will be made available in due course to our esteemed passengers.”

Nigeria currently has 12 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus which has infected more than 250,000 people across the world and killed over 10,000.

Passengers about to board a train in Lagos. Photos: Dare Idowu/Channels TV

 

No Life Lost In Lagos Train Accident, Says NRC

No Life Lost In Lagos Train Accident, Says NRC
NRC Managing Director, Mr Freeborn Okhiria

 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has faulted the claims that a life was lost in the train derailment that occurred at the Mangoro/ Agege area of Lagos State.

Managing Director of NRC, Mr Freeborn Okhiria, confirmed to Channels Television in an interview that nobody died in the incident.

“There are over 100 people in that single coach; if it was a road vehicle, you know what could have happened,” he said.

“As I speak, we just have only one person that was injured which we have taken care of him.”

The train was said to be coming from Ijoko area of Ogun State and heading to Ebute Metta in Lagos before the incident happened in the morning.

The accident occurred when one of the train coaches reportedly fell off the rail track while in motion, causing another coach to derail.

 

According to witnesses, there was tension among passengers on the train who struggled to escape through the windows of the affected coaches.

Mr Okhiria insisted that no life was lost and the only person injured has since been treated.

He added that a lot of things used to be involved in a train accident and the Accident Investigation Team of the NRC has launched a probe into today’s incident to unravel its cause.

Explaining how the accident happened, the NRC boss said, “We have about four trains every morning and the first one was coming, made up of 11 coaches.

“Eight passed and on getting to the ninth one, it derailed and one fell down and dragged the other two. Before a train leaves a station, there is a train examiner who must check to ensure that it is fit to go and once a trip is finished, it is re-checked. It was checked this morning.”

Buhari Appoints New Heads For 13 FG Agencies

Muhammadu-Buhari-UNGeneral-AssemblyPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Monday approved the appointments of Chief Executives for 13 Federal Government agencies.

A list of the new Chief Executives was contained in a statement by the Director of Press in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Bolaji Adebiyi.

The appointments are:

Joseph Ari, Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF).

Dr. Isa Ibrahim, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Monitoring Board.

Aboloma Anthony, Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

Mamman Amadu, Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement.

Sharon Ikeazor, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.

Princess Akodundo Gloria, National Coordinator, New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Mr Ahmed Bobboi, Executive Secretary, Petroleum Equalisation Fund.

Umana Okon Umana, Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority.

Sa’adiya Faruq, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

Usman Abubakar, Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).

Dr. Bello Gusau, Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary, National Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

NRC Declares Free Train Service For Commuters

NRC, TrainThe management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has declared free train service for all commuters across the country.

The Managing Director of the NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, made the announcement on Wednesday in Rigasa, Kaduna State in Nigeria’s northeast region.

He said the free train service, which would last for two weeks, would enable Nigerians know that the corporation was fully set for commercial services.

Speaking after inspecting the railway facilities put in place by the corporation, Mr Okhiria advised Nigerians to de-congest the highways.

He urged them to embrace the use of train services for the transportation of goods and passengers.

Complementing the NRC boss’ appeal, the project supervisor at the construction site, Mr Lv Feng, assured all commuters of safety and efficient service.