Preparatory to the groundbreaking ceremony of yet another milestone of the standard gauge track construction project of Kano – Kaduna rail line this Thursday, the leadership of Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR) has charged its members to reciprocate the good and commendable gesture of the federal government on the development of the rail transport industry with diligence, punctuality, and high-grade professionalism.
Addressing the congress of the members of the Union in Lagos recently, the Secretary-General of the Union, Comrade Segun Esan, has urged the workers to show appreciation and gratitude to the federal government’s quest for an effective and efficient railway through various construction of standard gauge lines and equipping the industry for greater performance.
‘’The best we can do to express our profound appreciation to the federal government is to get committed to this work with passion and also protect the railway facilities from theft and vandalization as if it is our personal property are aware of what it takes to build a railway in terms of capital intensiveness of the development of the industry. This is why we must renew our enthusiasm and passion to make Nigerian people and the federal government proud by working with greater diligence and top-notch professionalism’’, Esan said.
He commended the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari for raising the ante by starting the construction of 190km Lagos (Apapa) – Ibadan (Moniya) track construction, completing it and commencing operation of same within its tenure.
‘’Nigerian railway workers take cognizance of the commendable feat achieved by this Administration in starting the construction of Lagos – Ibadan standard gauge from the scratch and completing it and even starting the operation within its tenure. This is worthy development that has never happened in the country before. If all past Administrations have been this committed to the development of the railway industry, we would have had a higher rail infrastructure base and a greater market share of the passenger and freight took by the road mode would have come to the railway and the road network would have been saved from constant dilapidation and pressure’’, Esan said.
Esan, however, appealed to the federal government not to make the mistake made in the past whereby locomotive engines, coaches and wagons were purchased without enough and adequate spare parts to repair and maintain the facilities bought.
He added that the welfare and salary regime of the railway workers should be reviewed with a view to using that as means to encourage and attract young and employable Nigerians to follow career paths in the system.