The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said the first set of coaches, which was alleged to have been stolen from its Maiduguri yard, got to its Jos, Plateau State running shed for general repairs on October 10.
A statement yesterday by NRC’s Managing Director Fidet Okhiria said the viral video purported to have emanated from an national television station had alleged that the police intercepted some criminals trying to steal a train coach at the Maiduguri Railway Station.
Okhiria, who spoke with The Nation from China, said the allegedly stolen coach was heading to Jos for repairs ahead of its deployment in the rail corridor to enhance the Mass Transit Train Shuttle (MTTS) which is meant to reduce the impact of the fuel subsidy removal on the masses.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has been drawn to a news trending on numerous social media platforms, purported to have emanated from Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), in which it was reported that an attempt was made to steal NRC coaches from Maiduguri.
“NRC management wishes to clarify this erroneous reportage by stating that the said coaches are officially being moved to NRC running shed in Jos, Plateau State, to be overhauled and put back to operation. NRC is trying to extend Rail Mass Transit all over the country.”
The statement also said the railway management in a letter by Okhiria on October 13 to the Commissioner of Police at the Nigerian Railway Police Command, had intimated the force of the corporation’s plan to overhaul its rolling stocks in all the districts with a view to getting them ready for deployment in areas of need.
“You may wish to note that the recent removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS) impacted the cost of transportation, among others. The NRC is of the view that making more rail routes available will greatly subsidise the cost of transportation and thereby reducing the hardship experienced by commuters.
“This informed the need for the overhaul of some of our non-functional rolling stock,” he said.
The NRC boss urged the police commissioner to “render all possible assistance to ensure a smooth movement and delivery of the rolling stocks from Maiduguri to Jos”.