The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has charged the newly- inaugurated members of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) board members against unnecessary bureaucracy, which is capable of slowing down the ministry and agency in the execution of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s strategy for rail development in the country.
The minister, who gave this charge yesterday, during the inauguration of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Board Members led by the chairman, Engr. Ibrahim Alhassan, reiterated that as construction works continue on the rail line of Lagos-Ibadan, the track laying would be completed by end of May, 2019, and by the end of December 2019, appreciable progress of work would have been achieved up to Apapa Seaports.
He stated that the congestion being experienced on daily basis at the Apapa Ports were ‘man made’ assuring that as soon as the Lagos-Ibadan extension to Apapa Ports was achieved, all the cargoes coming through the Apapa ports into country would now be transported via the rail line and this would automatically terminate the perennial gridlock at Apapa Ports.
According to him, “We should continue from where the last chairman stopped. With him and the MD, NRC, we were able to effectively tackle critical problems such as, the water pipe borne, gas as well as sewage lines that were obstructing construction works on the Lagos axis of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project. Please, don’t slow us down.
“As governing board members, you are responsible for setting out the parastatal’s economic, financial, operational administrative policies in accordance with government’s policy directives aimed at assisting the Corporation to achieve its mandate. You are also charged with the responsibilities for measuring performance against targets and introducing broad policy measures that will curtail any deviations to ensure that the targets are achieved.”
While cautioning the board members not to involve themselves in the day-to-day management of the NRC, he enjoined them to engender harmonious working relationship with the management of the corporation in order to achieve the objectives of the government.
While speaking, the chairman of the newly- inaugurated board, Engr. Alhassan eulogised the doggedness of the minister in his efforts at repositioning the rail sector, stating that “it takes more than a gold braid to make a captain” by being the driving force behind the successes that has been so far recorded in the railway development in the country, particularly, the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, ongoing Lagos-Ibadan rail line and others.