The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday expressed optimism that the Abuja-Kaduna rail line would become profit-oriented after two years of operation.
Amaechi said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja while commenting on the 2nd anniversary of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
He said that the ministry was putting in N56 million and getting N16 million monthly for the rail before the fare was increased.
He said: “We have done two years, the first step I took was to reduce the fare which I did deliberately and people started asking us to increase it and we increased it to what people can afford.
“People are standing on the train because it is the cheapest and safe means of transport. When we started; we were putting in N56 million per month and making just N16 million by subsidising it.
“What I want is just for us to break even not making profit.
“People like the train because we have been prompt, clean and kept the fare low, so we have shown that there is nothing wrong with the black man.
“There is nothing like international standard, we can beat any standard if we focus on it.”
The train is not being managed by white men or China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation; it is being managed by Nigerian Railway Corporation.”
Also speaking, Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director of NRC, said that the focus was on service delivery where passengers could get a train every 30 minutes.
Okhiria said: “I don’t measure my profit in naira and kobo, but by service delivery.
“We have increased from four coaches to 14 coaches, which is a great impact; we are almost clocking one million passengers daily.
“We have ordered more coaches and locomotives that will arrive next year; our target is to run every 30 minutes on passenger train.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abuja-Kaduna rail line commenced commercial activities on July 26, 2016.