The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N1.4 billion for the purchase of spare parts and repairs of crane by the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
Minister of Transportation, Mr Umar Sambo, said this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the crane, which plays a vital role in carrying out activities of the NRC, is down and needs to be fixed.
“Today I had the privilege of presenting before the council, a memorandum from the Ministry of Transportation on behalf of one of its agencies, the Nigeria Railway Corporation, for the purchase of spare parts and to undertake the repairs and overhaul of one of its critical cranes.
“Council considered the memorandum because this crane is required by the Corporation for emergency repairs of its rolling stock; it has broken down and therefore needs to be fixed. Approval was given in the total sum of N1, 491, 065, 722.72 inclusive of 7.5 percent VAT with a completion period of 12 months,” he said.
Speaking on the suspension of the Abuja-Kaduna rail following the March 2022 attack, the minister said train services would resume after two core matters are resolved by the government.
“These include families traumatized over their family members still in captivity of terrorists and the need to have surveillance facilities to monitor the tracks,” he said.
He said government is looking at the best options in terms of surveillance including a possible Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
Asked about the exact timeline within which the train services would resume, the minister said: “If I give a timeline, I’ll be lying to you. It will be insensitive to restart the service if some families weep day and night over their family members still in the bush.”