THE Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has said about N113 million was lost due to shutdown of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line for over eight months.
The Managing Director of the NRC Fidet Okhiria disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday, December 3.
According to NAN, Okhiria said many Nigerians incurred some losses indirectly due to the halt of operations on the route.
He said, ”The last time we checked, that was between the months of February to August. We have lost about N113 million, using what we were earning between January and March as a working document.
“When the train was working, there are a lot of other businesses that were going on.
“There were people selling on the train, there were people selling around the stations, and there were people that had opened shops and people were patronising them because the trains were running.
“So those were indirect benefits and cost that have been lost to the Nigerian economy.
“More so, somebody who would have travelled from Kaduna to Abuja via train for some form of transaction and couldn’t make it because the trains were not running would have also lost something.
“The economic benefits is also lost, so we should not only look at the Naira and kobo that railway would have been able to make from it, but include all other losses by Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, the NRC has announced that it will resume the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train service on Monday, December 5, with only two return services.
According to Channels TV, NRC Managing Director Okhiria disclosed this in a statement released on Saturday, December 3.
According to the statement, the first train will depart Rigasa train station in Kaduna to Abuja by 8:00 in the morning while from Abuja, the first train will depart Idu Train Station to Kaduna by 9:45 in the morning.
The NRC also revealed that as part of the new security measures, it is now mandatory for passengers to present their National Identity Number (NIN) and valid Boarding Ticket before they will be allowed to board the trains.
Also, the purchase of tickets by proxy is only limited to minors and a specified number of adult passengers.
Online and mobile app ticketing will be available from 8:00 in the morning on Sunday, December 4, while the ticket offices at the train stations will open from 6:30 in the morning on Monday, December 5.
The NRC suspended service along the route after Boko Haram terrorists attacked a passenger train in Kaduna on March 28.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.