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Vandalism: NRC MD appreciates effort of police in protecting Railway property

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Mr Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), has commended the Nigeria Police Force on its efforts to reduce vandalism and theft of property belonging to the organisation.

Okhiria made the commendation after the Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi inspected the Lagos axis of the ongoing LagosIbadan standard guage rail line on Friday by.

The NRC boss said that the activities of hoodlums had continued to hamper the operations of the corporation and the ongoing construction of the LagosIbadan rail line.

“For the last two weeks we have had some respite, and I think the police have also lived up to their responsibility by ensuring that they pick those that are involved and charge them to court immediately,’’ Okhiria said.

On the anti-theft device, Okhiria said those were parts of the additional works given to the contractor, China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) and that the device was going to be put in place.

“When the work started we had to talk to them (CCECC) to find the best way to limit vandalism and they are working on them,’’ he added.

On the delay of the coaches for all rail corridors, Okhiria attributed the berthing of coaches to issues surrounding shipments and ports.

“When we had a meeting with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the minister of transport spoke to them , they came up with a drastic solution to ensure they get the material for construction and they have been able to get that.

“So, I think within the next one week the ship carrying the railway items will berth and we will off load,’’ Okhiria said.

Speaking on some additional works delaying the LagosIbadan rail project, the managing director said that the redesigning of the railway stations, overpasses and bypasses were some of the reasons.

“These were not the type of stations that were in the initial contract but we encouraged them to continue on the new design.

“The bypass and under pass were also not part of the initial contract, they were to be physical level crossing.

“But when the minister came he said we must obey the law and government policy that have been put in place that there must not be direct crossing, but overpass or underpass on rail and road crossing.

“They had to redesign, some of them have just been approved and they had to acquire more space because when you do the bridge you do not expect it to fall within the rail corridor.

“It is going to be extended outside the rail corridor,’’ Okhiria said.

On the April deadline for the project, the managing director said that as a realist and as a practical person, he still hoped the target could be met with more manpower.

Edited By: Chukwudi Ekezie

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