If the train is working effectively, we won’t be experiencing the type of traffic congestion we are seeing on Apapa road. I don’t think they are doing enough because if they are doing enough, truck drivers won’t hold the nation to ransom for over a week.
I think the wagons should be increased, and they should increase the frequency of the movement of the wagons.
Also, the government should rehabilitate the tracks because there is need to move containers to the ICDs through the rail to forestall avoidable loss of lives and properties.
To be sincere, for a long time that sector was neglected that there was no proper investment in that sector and you know, to whom much is given, much is expected. If we have a long plan for this sector, it will work. For instance, the government created Inland Containers Depots (ICDs) in all geopolitical zones but did they create a plan to link the ICDs’ to the rail line and if there is nothing like that how will they move containers to that place? We don’t embark on long term planning in the country. Also, you can imagine having tank farms are close to the ports and if they can move the tank farms away from there, there will be solution to the traffic congestion around that area.
In my own assessment, I can say NRC has not been living up to expectations particularly looking at the role of railway in the supply chain.
We all know that the linkage of the railway to the port is of paramount importance that we cannot rely solely on the road infrastructures. Also, on the strike action of truckers, you will know that a lot need to be done to link the port to other parts of the country because it is when the port is linked up by rail, badges and road, that we can say our ports have come of age.
For NRC to be effective as we want, there are so many things that need to be done one of which is the rehabilitation of the tracks. We all know that they are dilapidated and apart from the new ones that are being laid, the tracks are not safe and they might derail on motion and unless they are reactivated, they cannot do more than they are doing.
It was last week we were told that a cargo train derailed in the north. So until government reactivates and rehabilitates the rail lines, they will continue to perform below expectation.
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