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Work on Ibadan-Kano Rail Line Begins Soon –FG

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Fidet Okhiria, has said that work on the rail line from Ibadan to Kano would soon commence.

Okhiria stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday Abuja.

According to him, the Ibadan to Kano will commerce as soon as Federal Government releases funding while that from Itakpe to Warri would soon be completed.

“The contract has been advertised before awarding it so as to follow due process.

He said in 2018 the corporation tends to order more spare parts so as to repair some sections of the rail tracks that are so bad.

“After necessary proper documentation and processes from it, we will award contract to the virtual owners, those with guarantee that they can do the job to our expectations on the narrow gauge that we are managing.

“On the Royal Stock that have been ordered, we have enough fund to pay for them, for the contract that has already been awarded some payment has been made.

“We hope in 2018 the balance of the payment will be made so that the standard gauge locomotive coaches can be supplied and put for people to use.

“The counter funding from the China EXIM Bank are require for the track work to continue.

“The Federal Government has been making the counter funding from the Nigerian side available,’’ he added.

The managing director said the funding for Ibadan to Kano has been captured in the budget but the other counter funding will be from the Chinese EXIM Bank.

On the payment mode, he said the funding was “fund as you work, when you develop payment certificate, the certificate is submitted and the ministry will pay.

“What is require for Nigeria is to first deposit their counter funding, which we are already doing, when the contractors completed some parts of the work, they submit job completion for a certain portion.”

Okhiria noted that normally the consultant will measure and confirm before payment was effected.

On ticketing, the managing director said there have been outlets, which have been in existence at Lagos and Ibadan with single back bone.

“We have many vendors and outlets including kiosks and supermarkets but the back bone should be one for ticket sales.

“Thank God with the little provision for maintenance we are up to the task for service delivery.

“We have enough customers but we do not have enough locomotives to meet up the need of the people.

On the reliability of the locomotives, Okhiria said, “presently our locomotive reliability is very low compared to the demand for it and even the infrastructure, the tracks, the cost of maintenance is very low.

“We are trying to manage the process we have started but it will take some time,’’ he added.(NAN)

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