A railway policy professional, Mr Olawale Rasheed has made a passionate appeal to President Bola Tinubu and the Federal Executive Council to implement urgent reform of the Nigerian Railway Corporation to solve national transport challenges and jumpstart the nation’s economy.
In series of tweets on Friday evening, Mr Rasheed who was the Chief Executive Officer of African Railway Consulting Limited until recently said solving the transport hiccups occasioned by bad roads demands revitalisation of the railway system which presently suffers from outdated laws, structures and equipment.
He noted that professionals in the railway sector are patiently awaiting the agenda of the President in unbundling the monumental benefits that the sector holds for the country, adding that President Tinubu must embrace critical reforms to turn things around for the better.
“Many rail professionals in Nigeria are feverishly awaiting the railway agenda of President Tinubu (@officialABAT),” his tweet reads in part.
“Mr President must embrace private sector led initiative, unbundle the NRC into four companies, pursue amendment of 1958 Railway act and adopt PPP funding model.
“The Presidency needs to enforce the unbundling of the NRC for four reasons namely it is against global best practice for a firm to be the operator and regulator. It gives room for inefficiency and corruption.
“Operating a 1958 Act is really a great disservice to the growth and devt of the rail sector. How do you apply a 1958 Act in a 21st century economy?”
The expert dismissed as unfounded the fear of job loss that may have dissuaded the management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation from tapping onto unbundling the firm, noting that jobs will be created just as promotes efficiency in the sector.
“The fear of job loss by NRC management is unfounded and shortsighted. Creation of 4 new firms will create more job opportunities and elevation for stagnant top level officials,” he noted in his tweet.
“The Presidency should equally take note that the railway sector remain the only area of the national economy without liberalisation. Telecom, aviation, oil and gas and whatever are liberalised with billions of dollars in private investment. Railway remains the most backward.
“Conclusively, the rail sector will remain weak, moribund, financially bankrupt, inefficient and an embarrassment to the nation unless President @officialABAT act decisively now.”