The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the circumstances that led to a train conveying passengers from Lagos to Ibadan running out of fuel midway through the journey.
This was in response to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance raised by the Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, during Tuesday’s parliamentary session.
In his motion, Elumelu cited easy and cheap movement of bulk goods and commuters from hinterlands to seaports and vice versa, as one of the pivotal reasons for establishing the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
“Another sad episode happened on March 11, where a train conveying passengers and goods from Lagos to Ibadan came to a halt midway due to insufficient fuel.
“This has once again endangered the lives of innocent Nigerian travelers on the trip.
”Such episode exposes the carelessness, irresponsibility and incompetence of the management of the NRC to effectively and efficiently manage the sector.
“For a train to leave the station with insufficient fuel only to get stuck midway into the journey with traumatized and stranded passengers, is a huge national embarrassment,” Elumelu stated.
He observed that the excuse touted by the NRC Managing Director, Mr Fidelis Okhiria, was not only ludicrous but also a credence to the sloppy management of public utility, part of which was a lack of routine standard operational checks.
The lawmaker further noted that the ugly development had eroded public trust in the Nigerian railway transportation, and also made the country a laughing stock in the international community, stating that if the careless act by the NRC was not effectively nipped in the bud, it could be a coup de grâce to a more national disaster.
Elumelu also urged the parliament to look into the corporation’s services in the area of ticket racketeering and hoarding to the public, by unscrupulous elements within.
The House, in its hallowed wisdom, resolved to set up an ad hoc committee, for a status report of the NRC operations, within a stipulated period of four weeks.