The Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Olugbenga Ashafa has disclosed that the National Assembly is in the process of opening up Nigerian Railway Corporation to private investors by re-enacting laws that will make it operate in accordance with global world practices.
Stating this in Abuja, he said, the Nigerian Railway Act of 1955, which was amended in 1990 needs to be overhauled for an efficient and robust rail system where it would be possible for private investors to come in.
“Nigerian Railway Corporation Act of 1955 which was amended in 1990 is still inadequate, in terms of bringing in private investors into railway transport as envisaged; so it needs amendment in order to grow the economy”, he noted.
Ashafa maintained that by looking towards breaking the monopoly of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, it was only in the aspect of rail transport activities, noting that it will retain its regulatory status.
He pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari was doing a lot to revive land transport.
He added that Buhari’s trip to India, China and other parts of the world in recent times afforded him the opportunity of signing relevant agreements that will bring in investors soon.
“You recall that President Buhari did promise that in his first tenure, he would take land transport as one of his administration’s priorities and he is already doing a lot, especially during his trips to China, India and other places where agreements were signed that are likely to bring investors soon”, Ashafa noted.
According to him, the 7th Senate attempted amendment on the Act would have triggered a revolution in the industry, but it did not see the light of the day before the session elapsed.
“The 7th Senate made an attempt to amend the Act that would have revolutionized the industry; unfortunately, the session expired, so we will do a similar thing in the best interest of the nation”, he maintained.