NRC Reduces Lagos-Ibadan Weekend Trips Due To Shortage Of Diesel
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has cancelled one out of the three weekend trips for the Lagos-Ibadan train services over unavailability of diesel.
In a chat with newsmen, the Lagos District Manager of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engineer Augustine Arisa explained that aside the very high cost of diesel which has forced the Corporation to adjust its freight rates for cargo haulage, usage of diesel is subject to approval by the manufacturer of the standard gauge trains.
According to Engineer Augustine Arisa, “The Lagos-Ibadan train is not only affected by the high price of diesel, our operations also suffer from availability of diesel. The high price of diesel has impacted our freight rates. We have had to slightly adjust our freight rates just to accommodate the increasing cost of diesel.
“We are cautious not to price ourselves out of the market, so the adjustment we made on our freight rates is minimal and we didn’t extend this to our passenger train services. This slight adjustment wasn’t a decision we took on our own. This had to go through the Federal Ministry of Transportation for approval before we implemented the slight price increment for freight services.
“On availability of diesel, we just don’t buy diesel and use. There is a standard set by the locomotive manufacturers. Most times, when we buy diesel, it doesn’t pass the test set by the locomotive manufacturers. Many times, we have had to buy diesel and end up not using for the Lagos-Ibadan train because it has to undergo testing for approval.
“So, due to these issues, we have had to reduce our Saturday and Sunday trips which used to run three trips, to two trips. Our operations are predicated on the availability of diesel.”