Lagos-Ibadan Train Incident: House Orders Status Enquiry on NRC’s Operations

The House of Representatives has asked an ad-hoc committee to conduct a status enquiry on the operations of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the rail system in the country.

The exercise is to be conducted within four weeks.

The House passed this resolution during its plenary on Tuesday in Abuja presided over by the Speaker, Rep.  Femi Gbajabiamila.

The resolution also includes an investigation into an incident on Thursday last week, when a Lagos-Ibadan bound train suddenly stopped midway through the journey, leaving passengers traumatised and stranded.

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The incident was blamed on alleged insufficient diesel to power the locomotive engine, though the NRC later in a statement attributed the development to what it called a faulty fuel system.

The matter was brought to the attention of the House by the Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, who told members that it had security implications for the lives of passengers and their valuables.

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 Elumelu also informed the House that the personnel of the NRC were often accused of “ticket racketeering,” leading to economic sabotage.

“For a train to depart a station without sufficient fuel is a national embarrassment, making Nigeria a laughing stock before the international community”, he stated.

Describing the incident as “irresponsible and careless”, Elumelu called for an immediate investigation to find a solution before another case that might turn out to be “a major disaster” would occur.

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Other members, who contributed to the debate included House Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Toby Okechukwu, and Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta.

Okechukwu and Nkem-Abonta both proposed the amendment to the prayer of the motion to seek a broader status enquiry on the operations of the NRC.

It was passed in a unanimous voice vote.

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