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Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has reiterated federal government’s resolve to go ahead with the concession of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to General Electric (GE), even as he promised to carry the labour unions in the railway sector along.

He made this remarks recently when he met with the staff and unions of the NRC at the railway compound in Lagos along with the management and board of the NRC.

This came as the two railway unions-Nigeria Union of Railway and Senior staff association of the railway pressed home their three point demands on concession, welfare/salary and monitisation of railway quarters.

According to the Secretary General of the Nigeria Union of Railway, Mr. Timothy Esan, the railway workers are pained that they are not allowed to pay and own their staff quarters following federal government’s policy of selling its quarters to quartered workers.

He also stated that the workers must be taken along in the concession process of the railway, just as government must also review the working conditions of the workers.

Amaechi promised to carry the staff along as the federal government forges ahead with the concession process. He also claimed that GE has made commitment to build a university of transportation in Nigeria. He also disclosed that GE has promised to train railway staff who may be deficient in the new order.

The Minister said GE intends to bring in wagons that would improve the lot of the railway, as “with 200 wagons, you can take away a lot of those freights that are conveyed through the roads to the northern part of Nigeria through the narrow gauge and that would be done until we conclude all our construction of the standard gauge”.

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