President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, commissioned two sets of Diesel Multiple Units, DMUs, and 68-seater air-conditioned passenger coaches acquired by the Nigeria Railway Corporation to boost its passenger traffic.
Each set of the DMU is made up of three trailer cars, and one motor car at each end. Each of the trailer cars also has 72 seating capacity and provision for 108 standing passengers, making, a total of 540 passengers for the three cars.
The ceremony was graced by many dignitaries including, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Adefulire, who represented the Lagos state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, Minister of Defence (State), Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and Minister for Police Affairs, Alhaji Abduljelili Adesiyan.
Speaking during the commissioning, President Jonathan, represented by the Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the acquisition of the modern coaches is an indication of the Federal Government’s commitment to provide a rail service of international standard.
He said: “My presence here today is an indication of the resolve of this administration to bring Nigeria at par with modern railway services available globally, by constantly upgrading and overhauling the system. It has been the top priority of this administration to continue to invest in infrastructure which will help the economic life of this country.”
Also speaking, chairman of the Railway Board of Directors, and former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Turkur, said: “The Federal Government’s huge investment in the rail transportation sub-sector and indeed the entire transport sector, is in realization of the fact that the survival and the extent of the development of any economy depends very significantly on the extent of development and efficiency of its transportation system.
“The Nigerian Railway board will continue to provide the Nigeria Railway Corporation, the desired policy directions to enable it continue to provide affordable, safe and value added rail transport services to the commuting and freighting public. Our intention is to continue to improve on the facilities and infrastructure of the Nigerian Railway Corporation to ensure that the system further increases its passenger and freight movement.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director, NRC, Engr. Adeseyi Sijuade, said that the delivery of the new coaches was in fulfillment of the Federal Government’s transformation agenda for the railway sector. He disclosed that the corporation would take delivery of additional five air-conditioned coaches by August. He noted that the newly acquired railway vehicles were designed and manufactured in China by CSR Nanjing Puzhen Company Limited, and Kintech Nigeria Limited, specifically for Nigeria Railway’s narrow gauge railway system.
He further explained that in sustaining the railway drive, “The DMUs will be deployed for mass transit train services in densely populated cities starting with Lagos. With the introduction of these DMUs, the number of passengers moved by rail on a daily basis in Lagos is expected to rise from 16,000 to 22,000. Furthermore, these DMUs, will free up a number of our heavy locomotives currently being used for passenger services, which can be redeployed to pull freight wagons, thereby enhancing our freight capacity.”
Curled from Vanguard