The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, has hinted of the unbundling of the corporation to enhance efficiency through private sector participation (PSP).

Okhiria explained that the unbundling would pave the way for the decentralisation of the operations of the railways to encourage other players – governments or corporate organisations – to participate while the Federal Government provides the critical infrastructure for the smooth operations of the transportation mode.


The NRC boss said a presidential committee, headed by the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, had been constituted to facilitate the unbundling process.

According to him, the committee’s terms of reference include studying and making recommendations for the success of the exercise.

He said: “We are still meeting. The committee, among others, will recommend what it thinks best suits our terrain. It could be two companies; it could be three companies; it could be the same one company, depending on what the committee decides or thinks is appropriate for the efficiency of the nation’s railway system.

“We want to encourage the private sector to come in. As the railway is presently, it is difficult for private operators to come in. But if we unbundle, private sector people can bring their rolling stock to come and operate on the tracks provided by the Federal Government as part of our national heritage.”

Reacting to a trending video showing passengers standing inside coaches on the newly inaugurated Lagos-Ibadan route, the NRC boss, who said the development had not been brought to his notice, attributed it to what he called oversubscription or patronage by Nigerians for the service.

He assured Nigerians that the corporation would soon deploy more coaches and increase the number of train movements on the corridor to prevent such developments.

“Plans had been concluded to increase passenger train service on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge to six daily services within the next two weeks. This, we hope, would address the surge currently being experienced by commuters on that route,” Okhiria said.

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