Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, said that a new bill seeking participation of the private sector in the railway operation is underway which according to him, will drive activity in the sector.
Senator Umar who made this known while speaking at an event in Lagos, recently, said that said his ministry has proposed a review of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) Act, and the draft copy of the new bill will soon be submitted to the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
According to him, “There is need to review the NRC Act of 1955 and we are currently working on it. The draft railway Bill which is underway will repeal the NRC Act 1955 and to re-enact a new NRC law that will incorporate private sector participation.”
The Nigeria Railway Corporation has welcomed the move. The Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. David Ndanusa, said the new law if passed will open up new frontiers of opportunity for the railway in Nigeria.
“It is very much welcome. The implication is that the railway will be better funded and then new areas of operations will open up. That will be a new dawn for the railway. There would be improvement in the quality of train services.”
“We expect positive development in the passage of the bill because the National Assembly is even craving for it. We are all working with the National Assembly, the Executive and the Railway authorities toward the same goal, The time for it has come because all over the world, that is what is happening – private sector participation and minimal involvement of government. So, it is a global phenomenon and we cannot be left out,” he added.