By FIDELIS UGBOMEH,
The federal government has restated its commitment to ensure that staff of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) will not be sacked over the planned Concession of some aspects of Railway operations to General Electric of the United States even as Nigerian Union of Railway Workers (NUR) insisted that it should be represented in the negotiations of workers welfare prior to the concession.
Minister of Transport Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi who made this known during a recent meeting held with representatives of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers said that government is committed to create more jobs and not to sack Workers.
He stated that based on the preliminary agreement reached between Federal Government and General Electric, it was agreed that the qualified staff will be retained while those that are deemed not qualified will be trained at a Transport University (With Faculty of Railway) that will be built by the later.
Amaechi stressed that those that will be categorized as unqualified staff will be trained on various aspects of Railway operations adding that General Electric is interested in building local capacity with the assistance of foreign experts that will be employed to train Nigerian Railway Corporation staff.
Apart from training he disclosed that another preliminary agreement reached with General Electric is that the company will donate 20 Locomotive Engines and 200 Coaches/Wagons to the present management of the Corporation as well as fabricate same within a stipulated period of five years after signing the Concession agreement.