FG to unbundle Nigerian Railway Corporation
By Matthew Eloyi
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Engineer Fidet Okhiria has disclosed that the Corporation would be unbundled to enhance efficiency through private sector participation in railway operations.
Okhiria, who spoke on the issue on Monday said the unbundling would pave the way for the decentralisation of the operations of the railway, which would encourage other players to participate while the Federal Government provides the critical infrastructure for the smooth operations of the transportation mode.
He said a presidential committee headed by the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, has been constituted to facilitate the unbundling process.
According to him, the committee’s terms of reference include studying and making recommendations for the success of the exercise.
He further explained the NRC as presently constituted would be unbundled into four major companies which are: Operations, Infrastructure Management, Regulation and Marketing.
He said the number of components/companies expected to emerge from the unbundling would depend largely in the recommendations of the committee.
Okhiria, who is a member of the committee, said the unbundling would create the level playing ground for all players from any parts of the country, to key into the sub-sector of transportation and providing service according to their competences and scope of operations.
In his words, “We are still meeting. The committee among others will recommend what it thinks best suits our terrain. It could be two companies; it could be three companies; it could be the same one company, depending on what the committee decides or thinks is appropriate for the efficiency of the nation’s railway system.
“We want to encourage the private sector to come in. As the railway is presently, it is difficult for the private operators to come in, but if we unbundle, private people can bring their rolling stock to come and operate on the tracks provided by the Federal Government as part of our national heritage.”