By Kenneth Jukpor
MMS Plus brings you an assessment of the major parastatals in the transport sector for the first half of the year 2019. The first six months was centered on pre-election, elections and post-election drama, but how did transport agencies and institution attack their core functions.
For the grading system: A =90-100%, B+ = 80-89%, B =70-79%, C+ =60-69%, C =50-59%, D =40-49% and E = 30-39%, F = 0-30%. Enjoy it:
Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC)
The place of railway in transportation worldwide cannot be overemphasized and the Nigerian government has continued to intensify efforts to ensure that the dream of establishing a railway facility that connects the entire nation becomes a reality.
For the agency’s rating in the last quarter, NRC would be assessed based on five of its statutory functions with twenty marks for each.
Ensure safety of operations and maximum efficiency;
NRC did record few train accidents in the first half of 2019. One person was confirmed dead at an early hour train derailment at Ashade railway crossing Agege, Lagos. Mr. Jerry Ochi, the Lagos Railway District Manager, told newsmen that the victim died at the NRC hospital at Ebute Meta while receiving treatment.
According to him, the NRC officials worked to re-rail the train and repair the track and the operation started almost immediately the tracks were fixed.
There were also other cases of robbery and theft onboard trains in the first half of 2019.
Score = 5/20
Manage and operate the railway for carriage of passengers and goods:
The railway management seems to be more technically sophisticated and informed about global best practices in railway management. Operational tactics have improved and the railway transport mode became more popular among Nigerians who still prefer to patronize the road mode to other means of transport.
NRC recorded impressive successes in freight patronage and set back in service delivery on both freight and passengers train in this half.
The NRC management made efforts to provide technical and professional support to other stakeholders; however, there is still the challenge of inefficiency with the narrow gauge because of the conditions of the tracks as confirmed by the Transport Minister.
Despite impressively helping in the decongestion of the Apapa environment from the gridlock with the Lagos district’s commencement of a shuttle service in the face of the ongoing road construction, there were reports of poor attention to customers’ welfare which affected their service delivery.
Score = 13/20
Meet cost of operation; improve market share and quality of services;
There was renewed vigor by the NRC management to ensure improvement in the quality of services to their customers, most especially the freight owners.
Revenue generation is still tasking for NRC as it still finds it very hard to raise enough funds to meet its cost of operation thereby leaving it to the mercy of the Federal Government for bulk of its finances including the payment of workers’ salaries and other related expenses. This is a major burden on the government who still injects billions of naira into the sector without expected return.
New trains and locomotives were commissioned by the president, President Muhammadu Buhari at the Abuja-Kaduna station early in the year to meet up with demands at the stations. The president also recently commissioned the Abuja light train.
Score = 6/20
Direct and control of any expansion or extension of the railway and the construction of new railway:
Buhari’s administration has set three major standard gauge rail lines for completion before the end of their tenure. These rail lines; Lagos-Kano, Lagos-Calabar, Port Harcourt- Maiduguri is estimated to cost $46 million according to the Minister for Transportation, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi and the project is expected to be executed in partnership with China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) and other investors who key into the project in the nearest future.
The Transport Minister, Hon Rotimi Amaechi has been described by some stakedholders as a railway Minister as most of his achievements in the transport sector were the rail projects.
Score = 10/20
Meet social responsibility in a manner that will meet the requirements of rail users, trade, commerce, industry and general public:
NRC has stepped up the cargo flow from Lagos to Kaduna Dry Port to weekly basis as part of efforts to meet the requirements of the dry port, trade, commerce, and others. There are still delays and non-adherence to time schedules without explanations in railway services in Nigeria especially in Lagos.
Score = 10/20
The upscale in rail haulage of cargoes to weekly basis from Apapa to Kaduna Dry Port was one of the biggest wins for the railway in the first half of the year. As the Lagos – Ibadan standard guage line is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019, it means there would be a lot of railway success at the end of the year. Let’s be optimistic.
Total Score = 44/100
Grade D (44%)
Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron
In the first half of 2019, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, continued to build on its modest achievements in 2018. The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, commended the management of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron for the development of infrastructure in the institution, even as he charged them to start building the technical facilities for training of the cadets.
Amaechi, who gave the charge at the commissioning of several facilities at the Academy, said it is important to put in place such facilities as the fully equipped ICT centre, the electronic and physical libraries, the sports centre and auditorium, the minister said provision of the relevant technical facilities like simulator, qualified technical lecturers, provision of equipment for the library, research centre and others.
During the inspection of the hostels, the Minister instructed the rector to reduce the number of cadets in each room from four presently to two and ensure that each hostel apartment has its own toilets.
Responding, the Rector of the institute, Commodore Emmanuel Efedua, (Rtd), said he understood the concern of the Minister, assuring that the management of the academy was working in line with the recommendation of the committee set up by the Minister to audit the institution.
Efedua explained that the first phase of the plan by the management was the construction of the infrastructure that enables the academy to meet relevant standards.
He explained that the first phase has been completed and that the second phase is the provision of the necessary technical infrastructure, stressing that the process had already commenced.
He also disclosed that the academy would start stocking the library this week after the commissioning. He also said that the institution had engaged the services of about 16 lecturers.
He pointed out that a contract for the renovation of the hostels for the cadets had already commenced before the arrival of the minister for the commissioning of facilities at the Academy.
According to the MAN Oron Rector, Comrade DujI Efedua maritime stakeholders would no longer be cajoled to take the Academy’s cadets onboard vessels after they graduate because the academy would be so revered that the cadets would be attractive and stakeholders will come scrambling for the cadets.
The maritime industry and Nigeria can anticipate more notable developments at ‘MAN Oron’ whose cadets would soon restore the pride of the nation, according to the promises of the Rector. Expect the Academy to build on these achievements in the latter part of 2019.
Total Score 50/100