Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has directed the management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to stop passengers from riding on the rooftop of the commercial trains.
The Minister decried the menace of rooftop train riders on the trains and the risks associated with the act. He strongly warned the MD of the railway corporation to put a stop to them.
Mr Amaechi gave the directive on Tuesday in Lagos at the maiden edition of the Lagos Traffic Radio Lecture Series, titled: “Migrating Workforce: The Challenges of Mass Transportation.”
Amaechi described rail transportation as the most suitable for mass transit because of its ability to convey more passengers at a time.
“MD railway, stop those hanging on top! Get the Nigerian police, railway department, to stop them from hanging on top. Some will fall down and die, and they won’t say it was their fault; rather they will ask what did the government do to keep that man alive.
“Part of the responsibility of government is not to provide infrastructure alone, but to keep you alive.
“We in the transport ministry believe in the multimodal system where the water connects with the road and the roads connect with the air. Without transportation man will die of hunger, take for example, they produce tomatoes in the north, not in the south.
“Now, if there is no transportation, only northerner will eat their tomatoes, so you need to move tomatoes from Kano, for instance to Lagos. Also, food cash crops rot or depreciate in nutritional quality and economic value due to inaccessibility to markets.
“So, basically, you need transportation to grow the economy. We will continue to make policies for mass transportation. We are ready to give them licence to go ahead with their rail activities even though for now, it is on the exclusive list.”
Amaechi also said that the greatest problem of mass transportation in Nigeria was poor governance, adding that the Federal Government would provide the required policy framework for investors to provide such services.