The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) current wage bill stood at N9.14 billion for its 10,672 workforce and requires additional N567.45 million to employ 1,000 workers for the Lagos-Ibadan rail line operations, according to the corporation chief executive, Fidet Okhiria
Okhiria, who spoke while hosting the visiting National Assembly Joint Committee on Transportation at the corporation headquarters in Lagos, noted that additional hands will be required for the new standard guage line from Lagos to Ibadan.
“On corporation’s revenue generation since 2020, NRC has remitted N1.13 billion to the Federal Government approved dedication TSA Account domiciled with the CBN,” he said.
During the visit, it was found that the signal and communication system of the rail was not operational. The Project Liaison Officer of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, Yakubu Adogie, said the company was already working to surmount the challenge before the first quarter of 2022.
In a statement by the NRC, the CCECC liaison officer also said the company was working on the plumbing, power supply, and telecommunications of other stations within the new Lagos-Ibadan railway corridor.
Adogie added that despite the intervention of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in July and payment of compensation, the Nigeria Customs Service log room building had not been demolished to give way for the construction of the other two lines to connect Apapa port.
The Project Manager of TEAM Construction Company Nig. Ltd, Leonardo Portanova, also spoke on the overhead bridges and crossings in the Lagos end of the rail line.
The Lagos State Government, he said is constructing seven overhead bridges while TEAM would build six overhead crossings.
The Chairman, Joint Senate/House Committee on Transportation, Abdulfatai Buhari, said the House was ready to support the NRC with necessary legislative framework to ensure effective rail transport and boost inter-regional business in the country.
“You are all aware that the joint committee is carrying out its statutory constitutional responsibilities to ascertain the level of work done.
“We are here to oversee how funds appropriated in the past fiscal years were expended and how much is needed for the smooth running of the corporation against the next budgetary allocation.”