Amendment of Nigerian Railway Corporation Act will propel PPP – Ashafa

Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Sen. Olugbenga Ashafa, says amendment of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Bill, 2016 will propel the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) in the transportation sub-sector.

Ashafa, representing Lagos East in the Senate, spoke on Wednesday when he led the committee on an oversight visit to the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Kaduna State.

Ashafa said that the National Assembly had done what was not done in the last 25 years by considering and approving amendment to the NRC Bill, 2016.

He said, “That means we have now open-up the rail sector for PPP and it translates to a lot of direct foreign investment into Nigeria.

“Whenever you switch on your television or open the national newspapers, you will either see the President talking about rail, Minister talking about rail and legislators talking about rail, that is what we want at this moment.”

According to him, huge revenue will accrue to the government through cargo and passengers rail, apart from simplifying movement of passengers and goods across different parts of the country.

“This movement will be cheaper, easier and stand the test of time; again, the pressure on our roads will be removed.

“We have a bad road network and that is why whatever the minister is doing or he has done now, was as if he has not done much,” he said.

The senator said that with proper rail network, the prosperity Nigerians were yearning for would be a reality.

Ashafa explained that the committee’s oversight visit was to assess the progress work on the ongoing projects and capacity building at the NITT.

“There is a remarkable improvement compare to what we saw during our last visit in February.

“On our part, we will ensure legislative functions that will lead to productive training in the institute,” he said.