The Senate President, Bukola Saraki today assured that Nigeria Railway Amendment Bill will be speedily passed into law. He said it is a way of working towards an overhaul of the Nigeria Railway Corporation architecture which would support federal government’s effort at revitalising the land transport industry.
Speaking at a public hearing in Abuja, Saraki enjoined all stakeholders in the industry to be committed through robust debate which serves as first hand information from the wider society, stressing that the 8th Senate was aware of enormous economic benefits in the Railway system, hence, it would make laws that would help Nigerians reap those benefits.
He maintained that, “The Senate has no choice but to speedily and comprehensively pass the bill to support Federal government at revamping Nigeria Railway Transport system”.
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Earlier in his speech, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Land transport, Gbenga Ashafa maintained that Nigeria Railway Corporation Act runs short of supporting the industry, hence, no investments were made from the mid 80s.
Ashafa also added that, “It is sad to note that until the inception of democracy in 1999, the rail sector received little or no attention in form of investments from the mid 80s when it was declared bankrupt until recently”.
He highlighted that a revitalised railway would not only serve as a means of cheaper transportation to the Nigerian populace, reduce heavy trucks on roads, but would generate employment opportunities.
Ashafa added that the National Assembly was set to re-enact laws that would regulate the industry in a manner that it would open up the sector to private investments in the areas of concessioning and effective private participation in accordance with global best practices.
He concluded that, “Today, we are set to make an Act that can stand the test of time and open up the rail sector to private participation”.