By Odimmegwa Johnpeter, Abuja
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has ordered an immediate sack of officials of the Nigeria Railway Corporation found to be involved in Ticket Racketeering at the Abuja-Kaduna Train Station.
To this effect, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria was directed by the Minister to sanitize the ticketing process. Amaechi gave the order on Friday in Abuja at the Annual Ministerial Press briefing on Landmark Programmes, Project, and Activities of the Ministry and its agencies in the year 2020.
According to Amaechi, the buying of multiple tickets and boarding them to resell would not have been possible without the active connivance of the railway staff.
“You must match the ticket with the face carrying it so that we don’t fall into security problems,” he said.
The minister announced that the national transportation policy will be ready before the end of this year. He said, “there is a committee working on the transport policy and we are having conversations with the office of the Vice President. In attendance is me, the Minister of State for Transport, Minister of Works, Minister of Finance and it is being chaired by the Vice President. We intend to come up with the transport policy before the year runs out”.
“Anything we would want to write about the Draft National Maritime Policy will be embedded in the National Transport Policy.
“If at all we write anything on it, it will not be submitted because it is already an offshoot of the National Transport Policy. The same with the National Road Transport policy, the Minister of State came with a detailed National Road Transport Policy which will be a part of the National Transport Policy,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Amaechi has reeled out the ministry’s landmark projects and programmes, to demonstrate his resolve to meet expectations.
He listed some of the projects to include: “Procurement and reception of seven new SG Coaches commissioned last year for train service on Itakpe-Warri line. Received six new Standard gauge locomotives, nine freight locomotives, two Diesel shunters, DMU, and 44 coaches;
“Procured two pairs of overhead Cranes for workshops, 50 tons capacity re-railing Jacks, two battery-powered shunters for Narrow-gauge line.
“Upgrade and modernisation of communication and signaling system rehabilitated 41km of the road network, 50 culverts and maintenance of track infrastructure, and 34 bridges among others”.
The minister added that “The ministry is committed to pursuing the 25-year Strategic Plan to a logical conclusion, although so much time has been lost by previous administrations. The ministry will rejig the Strategic Vision to align with the plan of the ongoing agenda 2050”.