TRANSPORT Minister Ojo Maduekwe has allocated state finance totalling 1bn naira for rehabilitation of the Nigerian rail network. The move followed a promise made by President Olusegun Obasanjo on April 26 to complete the revitalisation of the national railways within two years.

The President made his comments during the inauguration of a new local passenger service in Lagos. NRC is now running 16 trains a day from the port to Alagbado, Iddo, Ijoko and Agege.

NRC Chairman Mohammed Waziri said the two-year deadline was ’an enormous challenge’, but he was confident that it would be possible. NRC has already ordered spare parts for its Chinese diesel locos currently out of service, and Waziri expects to have them running by September (RG 4.01 p218).