From Fred Itua, Abuja
PRESIDENT of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, yesterday, assured Nigerians, that the proposed bill to amend the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Act, will transform the rail sector in the country.
Saraki made the remarks while declaring open, the public hearing on the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act Cap, N129, LFN 2004 (Repeal and Enactment ) Bill, 2015.
He said, the NRC bill would lead to, and usher a new era of growth and enablement for the private sector to participate more robustly and directly in the provision of rail services and railway infrastructure.
He assured Nigerians that necessary provisions had been provided in the new bill to ensure efficiency and sustainability. He noted that the bill would provide great rail system by ensuring enabling investment and promoting competition and innovation for the economy.
The Senate president said the bill would bring about change to agriculture, mining, oil and gas, labour transportation, urban planning to the sheer number of jobs that the construction and investment potential in the sector will create.
He said: “We have no choice but to speedily and comprehensively review and pass this bill. It is no exaggeration to say that the passage of this bill and the implementation of its provisions will have the impact of a new economic revolution.”
Saraki called on the stakeholders in the sector to support the effort at changing the outlook of the nation’s rail system and the economy as a whole through their useful contributions.
He noted that the existing law in the rail sub-sector was drafted and enacted to support an outmoded model that restricts management and investments in railway to the public sector.
Saraki said the fact that the law has become too old and outmoded, made many experts, including the business community, to agree that there was need to separate the regulator from the operator and give investment remit to both the states and the private investor to invest in the sector.