27th September, 2011
A 20 wagon haulage train of 750 tonnes of cement from Lafarge Cement Factory, Ewekoro, Ogun State has arrived Ibadan, completing the third phase of goods freight by rail in the country.
The first phase of the haulage began on 23 November last year, with weekly freight of 600 tonnes of cement from Ewekoro to Ijoko, followed with the second phase of another weekly transportation of 150 tonnes of cement from Ewekoro to Agege.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the arrival of the cement, Oyo State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, described the successful delivery of the goods, safe, effective, cheaper, and faster as a milestone in revitalising the railway transport system in the country.
Ajimobi who was represented by his commissioner for Works and Transports, Alhaji Akintunde Yunus then seized the opportunity to call on the Federal Government to focus more on the development of rail system in the country.
According to Ajimobi, the revitalisation of railway system in the country both for transportation of goods and passengers would go a long way in solving transport problems in the country.
He said, â€œWith this revitalisation, the railway system which have being in comatose for more than a decade in the country can now move from negative point to zero and back to positive point. With this revitalisation, I still believe the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) can still do more by extending its haulage to other goods including petroleum products. This will reduce the number of trailer carrying these heavy goods off our roadsâ€.
Ajimobi also appealed to the NRC to ensure that it operates with faster locomotives for transporting of goods and passengers as it operates in advanced world in order to improve its standard.
He also appealed to the corporation to ensure it cover the whole country within a shorter period and make more revenue which he said can be greater than petroleum for the country.
The Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Seyi Sijuwade noted that the freight was not only another landmark in revitalising the railway system in the country but a great achievement of long years of planning.
Sijuwade disclosed that it would take 25 trailers to carry the whole 750 tonnes carried by haulage with each trailer carrying about 30 tonnes of cement.
He added that with the haulage, it would reduce congestion on the roads especially on Lagos-Ibadan expressway and would also reduce accident.
Earlier, the NRC District Manager Western zone Mr. Rasheed Gbadamos said that the third phase would soon be extended to Osogbo, Ilorin and later Kano.
Gbadamosi assured that the haulage by the first week of October would be increased to 2,400 tonnes for the coverage of other parts of the country.
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan