By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Nigeria’s House of Representatives has expressed concern over the inability of the country’s Railway Corporation to generate a higher revenue despite the amount expended in running the corporation.
Between the month of January and September this year, the corporation remitted a paltry sum of N345 million, according to office of the Accountant General, an amount the Parliament believes is not enough as the country grapples to fund its budget amidst skyrocketing inflation.
“Our concern is that if we expect so much revenue from NRC and we aren’t getting it, then there is a problem”, chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Hon. James Faleke told the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria during his appearance during the 2024–2026 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) interactive session in Abuja on Wednesday.
“I think we should take the decision that the railway should self-fund and take care of their costs and remit to the government the surplus,” Faleke stated further.
This comes as countries in Africa have taken the initiative to privatise some government-owned companies.
Months ago, President of Kenya, William Ruto signed a law making it easier to privatise some comatose government companies.
He announced on the Thursday that over 30 companies have been shortlisted for privatisation.
When asked by the Finance committee chairman on what NRC is doing about ticket-related fraud, the NRC boss admitted that ticket racketeering has occurred in the agency and that action has been taken to address it.
Faleke asked, “Social media clips show how your staffers are engaging in ticket racketeering.”
Responding, Okhiria said, “This is true, and the solution to that is e-ticketing, and the government has approved that.”
The NRC boss further said that the members of staff involved in the act have been sacked, while some with fewer offences have been demoted.