The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has restated the need for additional coaches to address the high surge of passengers at its various stations triggered off by the growing insecurity associated with travelling by roads.
Mr Paschal Nnorli, the Manager, Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
“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.”
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.(NAN)