The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), has reduced the number of trips on Lagos-Ibadan train service by 66.67%.
Disclosing this development, the Managing Director of NRC, Fidet Okhiria revealed that even though the service was still running, its trips had been reduced, citing the persistent hike in diesel price.
“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,” he stated.
The corporation’s boss, however, noted that it is outside the powers of the NRC to hike fares, as he maintained that it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to make such a decision. Although he hinted that the NRC had made recommendations for fares adjustments considering the diesel price issue.
Okhiria said, “We just can’t increase it by ourselves. The government has to do that. We have made some recommendations. But even 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.”
Asked about the number of trips currently being done on the route, the NRC boss replied, “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.”
BizWatch Nigeria understands that diesel prices have risen by over 300% since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This development has, however, forced transporters of petrol, who power their trucks with diesel, to threaten strike before the prompt intervention of the Federal Government.
The spike in diesel price also warranted some level of petrol scarcity in Abuja and neighbouring states, as many truck owners could not afford the high cost. It has also affected the operations of companies.