14th July, 2011
The Oyo State government and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) today set up partnership modalities for the enhancement of rail transportation in the state.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi disclosed this while receiving the management team of the NRC in his office in Ibadan.
Governor Ajimobi stated that plans had been concluded to kick-start the partnership with the Nigeria Railway Corporation towards the commencement of mass transit by rail, adding that a five-man committee would be set up to work out modalities for the take-off of the programme.
The governor said that the people of Oyo State are keen and ready to patronise the Nigeria Railway Corporation’s services, considering its safety, reliability and timeliness.
According to him, he wants the rail services to begin as soon as possible, promising that the bottlenecks of bureaucracy would not be allowed to affect the governmentâ€™s desire to kick-start the partnership in a matter of weeks.
He advised the NRC to identify key areas where there are large concentrations of people that will benefit more from its services, urging the corporation to look into the possibility of commencing rail mass transit from Lagos to Ibadan.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Engr. Seyi Sijuade, said the proposed partnership arrangement was to look into ways of collaborating with the state government in enhancing passenger and freight services by rail in the state.
He said that over two hundred coaches had been rehabilitated by the Federal Government, including rail tracks from Lagos to Kano, just as a number of brand new locomotives had been acquired for a successful operation by the corporation.
The Managing Director also assured the governor of the immediate take-off of the partnership arrangement.
â€œWe have set up a Joint Technical Committee between the NRC and Oyo State Government to work together and come up with a definite plan and proposal in a matter of weeks,â€ he said.
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan