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Minister seeks unbundling of railway corporation for efficiency

Minister seeks unbundling of railway corporation for efficiency

Mu’azu Sambo, the minister of transportation, has called for the unbundling of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to boost service delivery and improve its economic value.

The minister stated this while addressing the management team of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) on Thursday in Abuja.

According to Sambo, the NRC cannot operate optimally in its current state, hence necessary reforms and unbundling have become imperative.

“One of the things I would like to see as the Minister of Transportation, through MOFI is the unbundling of the Nigerian Railway Corporation NRC.

“There is a committee set up to unbundle NRC and I will urge you to work with the existing committee.

“The NRC, the way it is currently, is the way the ports were prior to concession, prior to the reforms of 2005. Today, even the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) workers are happier about how NPA is today compared to how it was prior to the reforms.

“This means the reformed NPA is generating more revenues to support its operations and also support its workforce and its pensioners”.

The minister made reference to the reforms implemented in the ports and the benefits these have brought, noting that such should be carried out in the railway sector.

The minister, who assuaged the fear of job loss as a result of the unbundling said, ” I don’t want the NRC staff to see the unbundling of the NRC as a threat to their jobs. If we have a better performing NRC, then we are going to have better salaries for its workers, better working conditions for its workers, more revenue for the Federal Government and therefore the ability to even build more rail networks.

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Sambo said the issue of encroachment on railway property would soon be a thing of the past as MOFI aims to take control of the Federal Government’s assets and create optimum value for these assets.

MOFI was incorporated under the provisions of Sections 2 and 3 of the MOFI Act of 1959 as an asset holding company under the federal ministry of finance. MOFI is the sole manager of all Federal Government investment interests, estates, easements and rights.

Armstrong Katang, the chief executive officer, MOFI, said that the areas that have been identified for collaboration with the ministry included enumerating and valuing the Nigerian Railway Corporation to ensure that its value is captured in line with the current realities.

According to him, other areas included enumerating and capturing other critical assets within the ministry, especially its infrastructure assets and establishing a task force with representation from the transport and finance ministries with clear terms of reference to help with the identified assignments.