Management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced its readiness to commence the haulage of over 12,000Mt of cement every week from Ashaka in Benue state and Ewekoro in Ogun state.
This will remove a substantial pressure from the road networks, which are suffering from dilapidation having been the only mode of transporting all kinds of cargoes and passengers within the country over the years.
Public Relations officer of the corporation, Segun Esan disclosed this during a train ride from Ebute Meta to Iju when the Minister of Transport, Yusuf Suleiman paid an inspection visit to the corporation at the weekend.
The corporation, which has already received 20 of the 25 locomotive engines imported from Brazil in South America, dispatched some of them to Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt in preparation for the re-launch of Intra City mass transit train services across the country, where Lagos and Kano mass transit trains are already moving 1000 and 700 passengers respectively.
The corporation’s PRO told Daily Independent that Ashaka Cement offered 5000t/week for haulage while Ewekoro Cement in Ogun State offered the corporation 1000tpd of cement.
According to Esan, two locomotive engines have already been dispatched to those areas in preparation for the haulage commencement.
Also, all rail services will commence immediately the rehabilitation works on the Lagos to Jeba and the Jeba to Kano rail tracks are completed in a fortnight.
Rehabilitation of Lagos to Kano, a distance of about 488km is being handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and from Jeba to Kano of about 638km, which is a terminal point in that axis, is being handled by Costain West Africa.
“We want to begin with hauling of Ashaka Cement as well as Ewekoro Cement. We will not waste a day after rehabilitation is completed,” said Esan, adding that, “As soon as they finish Lagos to Jeba up to Kano, which by God’s grace will be achieved within two weeks, all our services, especially freight trains will resume. We want to begin with hauling of Ashaka Cement as well as Ewekoro Cement.
We will not waste a day longer after the completion of rehabilitation works in two weeks time. The tracks would have been handed over to NRC for traffic occupation, then we will begin with cement hauling from Ashaka, and another hauling from Ewekoro,” he said.