The Lagos District of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) yesterday revealed that it has conveyed 1.5million tons of freight and 9,663 passengers on Lagos to Kano Express Train between the months of January and October this year.
The Corporation in a statistics made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend disclosed that during the period under review they carried about two million passengers on eight trips to and from Ijoko/Kajoula to Iddo/Apapa on Lagos Mass Transit Train (LMTT), while the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) conveyed about 1.2 million passengers on two trips from Ijoko to Iddo and back.
Statistics also show that the earlier mentioned freights were conveyed on 13, 456 freight trains.
Lagos District Manager of the Corporation Engr. Jerry Oche in his remarks on passenger and freight statistics and reduction in frequency of Lagos Mass Transit Train Service and DMU from eight to six and two to one respectively, said the reduction in frequency of trains would not affect the number of passengers carried because four additional coaches have been added to the coaches running the six trips.
He also disclosed that the reduction in frequency of trains from Iddo to Ijoko and back would create room for running freight trains on the narrow gauge railway line considering the current port congestion and need to evacuate goods from the port terminals to hinterland.
But some passengers held a contrary view saying, “The reduction in frequency of LMTT and DMU in the last two weeks has affected the commuters working in Lagos Island some of who close from work by 4:00pm”.
According to Biodun Shonekan, “based on the present schedule, the first train from Iddo to Ijoko departs by 5:00pm instead of 4:20pm and this has affected my planning.
“The earliest time I arrive Ijoko from Iddo currently is 8:00pm daily and the following day wake up again as early as 4:00am.”
Shonekan also posited that in spite of the revenue generated by the Corporation the Coaches used in conveying passengers are not good for transporting human beings.
He also accused management of the Corporation of failure to refund fares paid by passengers whenever the Locomotive engines breaks down in transit.