Mr Paschal Nnorli, the Manager, Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS), said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Wednesday.
Cue in audio (Paschal Nnorli on additional coaches)
“It is a big issue for us and of course because of the insecurity on the Abuja-Kaduna express way, the passenger surge here is something else.
“The worst part of it is that whenever they come they are restive, they are cantankerous and aggressive and at times they even go physical on my staff.
“But I have always enlightened my staff that a customer is a king, it is part of the hazards of the occupation, but by and large there is nothing we can do.
“The major problem here is that the demand is outweighing the supply by far.
“If we have enough loading stock and trains are moving every hour or we increase our rake, now our highest rake is eight coaches, assuming we double it or make it 20, all these problems will stop.
“The government is working assiduously; the contractors are giving us high hopes that in the next couple of four months, additional coaches will be here.”
Cue out audio (Paschal Nnorli)
According to Nnorli, the corporation recently brought in two additional coaches from the Itape station, making it 15 coaches.
He reiterated that 20 trains could run on the present single track, adding that all that was needed was a well programmed time table and good communication system.
Nnorli urged the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to continue its tempo on the railway sector to attain its mandate and contribute to the growth of the economy.
According to him, with the kind of investment they are doing in the railway industry, I think in the next couple of years, Nigerians across the whole nation will be satisfied and enjoy the rail services.
“There is a blue print, there is a plan to link all the state capitals and major cities by a standard gauge railway and you know train is the only rail mass transit.
“What a train can haul, it will take about nine/ten luxurious busses to carry such number of passengers even in freight.
“And no economy will develop very well without good transportation system, which is championed by the rail sector.
“So more coaches is what are needed to tackle the problem. If we have additional coaches, even without locomotives you can increase these ones,’’ he said.
On e-ticketing, Nnorli said the government was putting measures in place to ensure a robust arrangement that would be linked to ensure access and control as obtained overseas.
Edited by Lydia Beshel/Felix Ajide
Social distancing: NRC to work on coaches to resume operation – Official
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says it has to work on passengers coaches to ensure social distancing, if its Mass Transit Train Services (MTTS) must resume operation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lagos Railway District Manager, Mr Jerry Oche, made this disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos while speaking on possibility of the corporation resuming service.
Oche said: “We are working round the clock to see how we can maintain social distance in the coaches, if we must run and keep social distance.
“Nobody can tell when this COVID-19 will end; it has come to say for some time and government is already opening up the space gradually.
“Coaches of the mass transit trains service are to be worked upon to accommodate the possibility for social distancing, if we must resume and maintain social distancing,” he said.
According to him, the Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs)trains are under repairs in case the need arises for the corporation to begin MTTS amidst COVID-19.
NAN recalls that the NRC announced the suspension of the Lagos-Ogun MTTS on March 25 as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state and the country.
Though the MTTS has yet to resume, the corporation has been operating freight services from Apapa Port to Alagomeji Terminals in Yaba as well as to Ijoko Terminals in Ogun.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
NRC implements Standard Operation Procedures for Apapa freight shuttle
Oche said that with the step, cargo transportation would be more efficient in and out of the port.
NAN reports that the SOPs are designed to help in fighting corruption and making the ports more viable for economic activity through the application of technology.
Key highlights of the SOPs for terminal operators are broadly similar and include standards for vessel reception, booking and positioning of containers, terminal delivery processes, invoicing and container return.
“We intend to do two trains daily from the port.
“SOP is just a guidance for both the NRC and APMT. It states what APMT has to do for the operation to be efficient.
“It will bridge the communication lapses that exist between us.
“Now, each party knows what its roles are and it will make the whole operations to be more efficient. Based on the SOP, we are to do two trips every day – moving cargo in and out of the port,” the NRC boss said.
Oche, who expressed the corporation’s commitment and determination to decongest the ports, said that the NRC would not leave any stone unturned to change the narrative at the port through the freight services.
“A train is made up of 19 wagons and each of the wagons can take one 40 ft or two 20 ft containers.
“If we are doing 40 ft, that is 19 trucks off the road and if it is 20 ft, that is 38 trucks off the road per trip. We are starting with two trips per day and we hope to increase it in no distant time.
“Containers will be discharged at Alagomeji Terminals in Yaba and Ijoko Terminals in Ogun State.
“Trucks can then be deployed to both locations to collect containers and return empties, which the NRC will convey back to the port,” he added.
He said APM Terminals constructed the port’s rail line and connected it to the national line in 2013, to provide alternate to road transport for customers.
The MTTS is yet to resume.
Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
COVID-19: NRC working out guidelines of operations to contain spread
“We are working out modalities on how to operate because train is the largest means of transportation in commuting people from one state to another.
Alli, however, said that train operations nationwide would not restart until lifting of the ban on interstate travel.
“Although the corporation has lost much finances, the safety of our customers remain paramount,” he said.
“We cannot commence Mass Transit Train Service until interstate travel ban is lifted.
“We have been receiving calls and messages from our esteemed customers to commence operations but we cannot flout the order banning on interstate travels.
Alli appealed to commuters to be patient until the lifting of the ban on interstate travel.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
Train operations cannot commence until inter-state travel ban is lifted — NRC
NAN reports that federal government had on April 28 announced a ban on interstate travels with effect from May 4, 2020 due to the spread of corona virus.
”We are working out modalities on how to operate because the train is the largest means of transportation in commuting people from one state to another.
”Although the corporation has lost so much financially but the safety of our customers remain paramount.
“We have been receiving calls, messages from our esteemed customers to commence operations but we cannot flout the federal government law on interstate travel ban.
“The federal government is our employer, we have to work with them to contain the spread of this pandemic ravaging the world,” he said.
Alli said that the Eid-el-Fitri celebration is one of the peak periods of the Mass Transit Train Service but the lockdown has kept business still.
The NRC boss, however, apologised to the esteemed train customers to bear with the corporation while waiting for the government to lift the ban on interstate travel.
Alli also noted that freight services in the port were still in progress.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
COVID-19: NRC flags-off campaign against spread, makes wearing of face masks mandatory
Okhiria said it had become imperative for all the staff and residents to use face masks and adhere strictly to social distancing directive as well as personal and environmental hygiene to prevent the pandemic from spreading.
He directed that all staff must comply with the precautionary protocols outlined by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Center for Diseases Control.
The managing director said the protocols were the surest way of containing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
“Healthy workforce is an asset for any organisation because it is a healthy staff that can perform optimally towards the production output with profound efficiency and effectiveness,” Okhiria said.
He added that the board and management of NRC had immense concern for the health and well-being of the staff and their families hence the sensitisation became mandatory in NRC headquarters and Ebute-Metta Junction.
“This campaign will also be carried out in all the districts of the corporation.
The management of the corporation had earlier decontaminated offices, workshops, residential quarter, and train stations to curb spread of the virus.
Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
World Red Cross Day: NRCS commends volunteers, donors; continues sensitisation on COVID-19
The theme for 2020, which marks the organisation’s 157th anniversary, is ‘Clap’.
The branch chairman said the outbreak had placed an enormous humanitarian burden on the branch, particularly the high magnitude of vulnerable people in slum areas in need of support.
She commended the volunteers and staff of the organisation, its donors and partners for all the efforts put in.
“As our own input to the efforts of the government, our branch trained 200 volunteers before the index case in Nigeria in preparation for the fight against COVID-19.
“Some of them have been providing assistance to the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) specifically in the areas of community sensitisation and contact tracing,” she said.
Kolawole said the COVID-19 Intervention Committee charged with the responsibility of providing emergency succour was able to reach vulnerable people in the slum communities at Makoko and Sari Iganmu.
She urged donors, public and private organisations and partners not to relent in their efforts in helping humanity.
“We are at the forefront when it comes to disaster management response to incidents, from building collapse to fire outbreaks, flooding and road accidents, to mention a few.
She pledged that the branch would continue with its COVID-19 sensitisation and intervention programmes.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Lockdown relaxation: Lagos mass transit trains won’t resume yet — NRC
The Lagos Railway District Manager, Mr Jerry Oche, who made this disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos, said the corporation would concentrate on Apapa freight shuttles alone.
Oche noted that it would be difficult to ensure social distancing both at the railway stations and on board trains.
According to him, though the corporation will resume work, train services will be limited to freight shuttle from Apapa to Iddo, Apapa to Ebutte-Metta and others.
“Don’t forget that if we have to do the MTT, there are lot of measures to be put in place. The social distancing is there, the enforcement is there and we know how porous our stations are.
“It is going to be very difficult and we don’t want to go in that line now.
“So, what we intend to do is to deploy our manpower, allowed by the government to resume work, for the freight shuttle services,” he said.
According to him, the corporation will not also want to endanger the lives of its staff, especially checkers on the train.
“It is not everybody that is resuming, it is just for those on level 14 and above. We don’t want to risk anybody’s life.
“For freight shuttle, we don’t need checkers, we just need drivers. We can manage that one.
“The freight shuttle is a shorter distance, it is just Apapa to EBJ and Iddo as the case may be. All our emphasis is going to be on freight shuttles,” he said.
Oche added that the port had been congested and the NRC would want to help in decongesting the port.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on April 27, announced a “gradual easing” of COVID-19 lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, from May 4, after a four-week lockdown of the areas to contain the spread of COVID-19.
By Monday, residents of Lagos and Abuja would have been on lockdown to contain spread of the global pandemic for five weeks.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
COVID-19: We are not starting passengers train operations yet, says NRC
Alli said: “You have to understand that all our train services run from one state to another.
“We are going to see how we can ramp up by increasing the frequency and volume of freight that we evacuate from the port.
“We shall be reviewing our operations as further directives arise from the federal and state governments,” he said.
The NRC official, however, said that only principal officers, directors, managing director and administrative staff needed in pure administrative capacity would resume on Monday, May 4, 2020, as directed by the Federal Government.
“We are going to declare the whole Railway Compound masked; you cannot walk around without using face mask, there will be checks at all entrances.
“Soap, water and hand sanitiser will also be provided under strict supervision,” Alli told NAN.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
COVID19: NRC begins disinfection of railway facilities -official
The corporation in a statement by Mr Oyekunle Oyewole, Deputy Director, Research, Health, Safety and Environment on Sunday, said the exercise would cover coaches and wagons to curb spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The management of the NRC under the leadership of Engineer Fidet Okhiria is undertaking extensive decontamination/disinfection of railway facilities, office premises, workshops, station building and residences/quarters within the railway compound in Lagos.
“The NRC management has committed resources to serve as part of organisational intervention and mitigation to deal with risks of exposure to COVID-19.
“As we all know, Lagos State is the worst hit by COVID-19 in Nigeria from statistics available till date, hence the quick intervention of the NRC management,” Oyewole said.
He said the NRC had engaged services of environmental health professionals in collaboration with the Environmental Health Department of the Lagos Mainland Local Government in driving the process of active decontamination.
Oyewole said the process, which commenced on Saturday, would continue until every mapped place was covered.
According in him, apart from quarters in Ebute-Metta, the disinfection effort will cover quarters at Tejuosho, Rotimi, Mushin, Ikeja and Apapa in Lagos.
“The NRC Management will continue to play her role as a responsible and proactive organisation committed to Public Safety, especially during this critical pandemic period in the life of our nation and of the world at large.
“NRC wishes every member of staff and other stakeholders within the railway facilities safe stay at home,” he added.
Speaking on the exercise, Mr Niyi Alli, NRC Director Operations, told NAN that the disinfection of wagons and coaches would be carried out when the corporation wanted to resume operations.
Alli added that the exercise would move to other districts and Abuja after completion of the Headquarters, Lagos District offices and quarters.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/ISmail Abdulaziz (NAN)
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