Vice President Namadi Sambo on Monday inaugurated two air-conditioned diesel multiple units and the coaches at the Iddo Terminus, Lagos on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan..
According to the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, the two new air-conditioned trains and six 68-seater passenger coaches are expected to increase the daily passenger traffic in Lagos from 16,000 to 22,000
Sijuwade said, “The DMUs will be deployed for mass transit train services in densely populated cities starting with Lagos.
“Today, we move a monthly average of 3,570 tonnes of cement from Ewekoro; 3,170 tonnes of wheat from the Apapa flour mills and 120 bonded containers from the Apapa Port, all the way to Kaduna and Kano. These freight volumes are expected to rise significantly over the next few months. “
The rolling stocks were designed and manufactured in China, specifically for the NRC’s narrow gauge railway system.
Sijuwade added that each of the six air-conditioned coaches had a carrying capacity of 68 passengers.
He thanked Jonathan for his commitment to the development of railways in Nigeria.
“The six coaches will be deployed as first class coaches on long distance intercity train services, starting with the Lagos to Kano service. This is expected to increase the number of passengers on the Lagos to Kano service from 6,000 to 7,000,” he added.
The Chairman, Board of Directors, NRC, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, described the event as a milestone in the over 100 years’ history of the corporation.
He said, “The extent of development of any economy depends very significantly on the extent of development and efficiency of its transportation system.
“Our intention as a board is to continue to improve on the facilities of the NRC to ensure that the system further increases its passenger and freight movement.”
Other dignitaries at the event included the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; board members of the NRC and members of the Peoples Democratic Party.