Mr Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), has assured that no staff of the corporation would be retrenched under its “concession” arrangement.
Okhiria gave the assurance on Wednesday at the NRC’s quarterly meeting held in Lagos to facilitate interaction between the management and the workforce.
“The concession will not affect our workforce, we will not downsize because such development is not in the arrangement.
“The whole process will follow the due process and nobody will be affected because we are still negotiating,’’ he said.
According to him, the discussion on the concession is going on between South African transport utility Transnet and NRC.
“Well, through the agreement we are expecting to see a better rail services , an up and doing railway industry in Nigeria because they are expecting to raise $2.7 billion investment on the narrow gauge.
“And government itself even says we must give people employment and when the train services are expanded, more people will be engaged and spare parts will be manufactured locally.
“Don’t forget that the minister (of Transportation) had said that for concessioning to take place they must have an assembling plant and higher institution to train railway personnel,’’ he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Anthonia Adara, NRC Acting Director of Administration and Human Resources, urged the workers to work hard in running of the affairs of the corporation.
Adara said that the quarterly meeting was established for the management to avail the staff members to air their views on some burning issues.
Okhiria had said that NRC needed partnership with concessionaires to improve its rolling stock.
The federal government on May 24, 2017, entered into agreement with General Electric for the narrow gauge railway concession in Nigeria.
GE was to invest $700 dollars on infrastructure with $2 billion on operation and maintenance.
GE, however, abandoned the deal, saying it had stopped the transportation section of its business.