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01.10.2021 news ‘Shame!’ —Tunde Kelani on Poor Train Service on Independence Day

Published 1st Oct, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

Tunde Kelani, a veteran Nigerian film maker, took to his Facebook page this morning, to berate officials of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), stationed at the Yaba terminal of the Mobolaji Johnson station, for their poor service.

The septuagenarian said the NRC could have been more proactive at the terminal with advanced planning.

READ ALSO: INVESTIGATION: Ticketing Corruption by Railway Staff, Soldiers, Policemen Derailing Abuja-Kaduna Rail Project #TheTrainHasDerailed

“On a national day, October 1, the high turnout of passengers could have been anticipated and appropriate operational plan put in place. At 6 am, when long queues have formed, no staff member of NRC has arrived! The doors of the ticketing office remained shut,” he stated.

Kelani also said that by the time the officials arrived at 6.45 am, more passengers had also arrived, and the struggle for ticket resulted in a chaos.

READ ALSO: Amaechi: FG Considering Jail Term for Rail Line Intruders

“Abeokuta this way, Ibadan that way, almost resulted in a stampede in the struggle to get to the front of the line,” complained Kelani.

The award-winning film producer and director further said that, apart from the fact that there were no first class services on the trains that were available, POS payments were also not allowed.

“Frankly, I think China’s CCECC has delivered or will deliver when the project is completed and handed over. But is the NRC ready? The new system cannot be allowed to run as an extension of the old NRC.

READ ALSO: Book Publisher Adegbola Recounts ‘Horror’ Ibadan-Lagos Trip by Rail

“Should China take over the commercial management? Or should it be contracted to Nigerian firms who can deliver efficient and enjoyable service?

“This morning, the EBJ/Yaba terminal of Mobolaji Johnson Station was no better than the Oshodi or any of our township motor parks. SHAME!” Kelani concluded.

READ ALSO: REPORTER’S DIARY: ‘Is This Really Nigeria?’ — Inside the Impressive Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line

On December 7 2020, the NRC announced the commencement of train service operations on the Lagos-Abeokuta-Ibadan standard gauge rail (SGR), after the Nigerian government had in 2017, secured a $6.1 billion loan from China’s Exim Bank for the construction of railroad projects across the country.

The project was later awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), for handling.

Published 1st Oct, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

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