Economy

Nigeria to resume cattle transport by rail after seven-year pause

Key Points

  • NRC to Resume Services: The Nigerian Railway Corporation will restart rail services for transporting cattle.
  • Warri-Itakpe Route: Cattle transportation will recommence on the Warri-Itakpe route within one to two months.
  • Specialized Wagons: NRC has procured and is assembling specialized livestock wagons at Kajola, Oyo State.
  • Focus on Welfare: Railway investments aim to enhance social and economic welfare rather than direct profits.
  • Government Initiatives: President Tinubu announced a new ministry for livestock development and inaugurated the Renewed Hope Livestock Reform Implementation Committee.

 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced that it will soon restart its rail services for transporting cattle from the northern regions to the southern parts of the country, after seven years of suspension.

NRC Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, disclosed this on Wednesday when he was a guest on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief, monitored by Arbiterz.

Okhiria said the NRC plans to recommence the transportation of cattle and goods via the Warri-Itakpe rail line, a service that had been on hold since 2017 due to technical difficulties.

He mentioned that within the next one to two months, herders will once again be able to move their livestock from Itakpe in Kogi State to Warri in Delta State.

The NRC boss said the corporation is taking significant steps to modernise the transportation of goods across Nigeria. To this end, it has procured specialised livestock wagons, which are currently being assembled at the Kajola facility in Oyo State.

“We’ve built 15 wagons for livestock, and they are expected to be operational between Itakpe and Warri within the next month or two, boosting economic activities,” Okhiria said.

Also Read: Train travel rose by 52.88% in Q1 2024 as more Nigerians opted for rail transport – NBS

He emphasised that the primary goal of railway investments should be to enhance the social and economic welfare of the populace rather than focusing solely on profit.

“The development of transportation systems is not just about making profits in naira and kobo; the real profit comes from the ability to move goods efficiently and connect cities,” he explained.

He further noted that, although the immediate financial returns might not go directly to the government, the indirect benefits will significantly support economic growth and development.

The NRC announcement comes on the heels of President Bola Tinubu’s announcement on Tuesday to create a new ministry dedicated to livestock development.

Alongside this, Tinubu inaugurated the Renewed Hope Livestock Reform Implementation Committee at the State House in Abuja, underscoring the government’s commitment to transforming the livestock sector.

Samuel Bolaji

Samuel Bolaji holds a Master of Letters in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is an experienced researcher, multimedia journalist, writer, and Editor. He is currently the Editor of Arbiterz.

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