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NRC services debt with N111b, generates N12b – Report 

THE Federal Government has spent $247.98m (which amounts to N111.23bn using the Central Bank of Nigeria’s December 30, 2022, official exchange rate of N448.55) servicing railway debts in the last two years while making only N11.61bn from railway services during the period.

According to data from Nigeria’s external debt service payments reports by the Debt Management Office, Nigeria spent $122.92m servicing debts incurred for the Nigeria Railway Modernisation Project (Idu-Kaduna Section), the Nigeria Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos-Ibadan Section), and the Nigeria Abuja Light Rail Project in 2021.

By 2022, the government spent $125.06m servicing debts incurred for the Nigeria Railway Modernisation Project (Idu-Kaduna Section), Nigeria Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos-Ibadan Section), Nigeria Abuja Light Rail Project, and Nigerian supply of rolling stocks and depot equipment for the Abuja light rail project.

Despite spending N111.23bn on railway debt servicing, railway services were only able to generate N11.61bn according to new industry statistics, released on Monday, from the National Bureau of Statistics.

In 2021, railway services generated a total revenue of N6.04bn from passengers, goods, and other income receipts. By 2022, revenue fell to N5.57bn from the aforementioned revenue sources.

2.72 million passengers and 142,438 tons of goods used rail services in 2021. In 2022, the number of passengers rose to 3.21 million while goods fell to 118,587 tons.

Insecurity and mismanagement might be hampering the growth of rail services in Nigeria. In March 2022, an Abuja-bound train was attacked in Kaduna by terrorists. Also, suspected kidnappers attacked another train in the Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State on January 7, 2023.

Also, rail derailment is almost becoming a constant in the sector, further discouraging passengers from relying on rail services.

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