By Stella Enenche, Ibadan
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has directed the Nigeria Railway Corporation( NRC) to arrest buyers of vandalised rail track facilities.
Amaechi gave this directive on Saturday in Ibadan while inspecting the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan railway project.
The Minister said vandalism thrives because there are those who are willing to buy stolen equipments.
According to the minister, “I don’t know why some Nigerians are like the way they are. I have told the Managing Director of NRC to arrest the buyers of the equipment. It is not enough to arrest the vandals.
“It is likened to those who said why should the National Assembly punish those who pay ransom, that law was first passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly when I was a speaker and the reason is, that,when there is no demand, there will be no supply.
“If we don’t pay ransom, they will be tired and they will stop. The same way, if they don’t buy those metals, slippers and others, nobody will steal them.”
Preferring solution to the menace, he said: “Also, we must approach the Judiciary to have court that can dispense justice readily so that people are sent to jail early enough to deter others and we will also encourage our governors to create jobs.”
Amaechi also said the Lagos-Ibadan project would be commissioned next month upon approval from the office of the president.
He said: “I hope the Office of the President will approve the commission this project in June. we will communicate the actual date in the next two weeks but certainly, I think it is in June.
“We are not 100 percent ready for commissioning but if for nothing, we are 89 to 90percent ready for commissioning.
We are hoping that by the next three weeks we will be ready and by then, they will give us a date from the office will the president. One thing is that by the time they give us a date, we will be ready for commissioning.”
The former governor of rivers state said the e-ticketing platform would be deployed to Lagos-Ibadan route to manage passenger traffic.
“I have directed the MD of NRC to advertise for the e-ticketing and we hope the traffic that we will witness on this axis will be managed with that platform.”
Amaechi Added that “There is maintenance plan between us and CCECC within the next three to five years and by then, I would have left government but for me and within the period I am serving as minister, there is an agreement between us and CCECC for the purpose of maintenance.”
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