NRC reduces Lagos-Ibadan trips over rising diesel costs

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THE Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says it has reduced the number of trips on the Lagos-Ibadan train service due to the hike in the price of automotive gas oil, better known as diesel.

It was gathered that the move would hamper the revenue drive of the sector, as rail transport raked in N6 billion last year.

In an interview yesterday, NRC Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, said the corporation has cut down the number of return trips on the route from six to two every day.

“The Lagos-Ibadan train service is running, but we have reduced the number of trips on that route because of the diesel problem. We reduced the number of trips we are running because of the hike in diesel price,” Okhiria told The Punch.

“We are now doing two return trips as against six, which by now should have gone to 10. So we run just two trips now due to the diesel problem.”

According to the NRC boss, it was outside the corporation’s powers to hike fares, despite the rising cost of operations.

He however stated that the corporation had sent recommendations to the federal ministry of transportation for an adjustment in the train fare.

“We just can’t increase it by ourselves. The government has to do that. We have made some recommendations. But even with the recommendations we made, the new price of diesel has overshot our workings as contained in the recommendations.

“However, we don’t want to price ourselves out of the market too, because the price of petrol is not increasing as such, rather the increase is little when compared to diesel price. And you know we are competing with transporters on roads, ” Okhiria added.

The price of diesel has hit N800 per litre, representing a 28 per cent increase — it sold for 625/litre in March.

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