Despite improved revenue, Abuja-Kaduna train service still running at a loss – NRC MD

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has disclosed that though its monthly revenue generation from the Abuja-Kaduna train service has improved from N16 million in 2017 to over N80 million in 2018, it is yet to break even as it still spends over N100 million monthly as running cost.

Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria who disclosed this in Abuja was however hopeful saying “we are close to breaking even on the Abuja-Kaduna train, we have made progress because of the efforts we made”.

He explained that “When we started, we were earning about N16 million and spending about N56 million, but right now, we can comfortably say we earn over N80 million although we still spend over N100 million, which is closer to breaking even.

“By the time we have more coaches and run more trains, I think the expenses will reduce and more patronage will come in.

“The issue we have now is that we only run passenger trains; we don’t have freight to move from Kaduna to Abuja.’’

The NRC boss attributed the high expenses to the purchase of diesel for generators at the train stations.

“If we are able to link up with some people to move freight, we will be able to break even because presently, by the time we inject power from the public power supply, I think our expenses will also come down.

“Right now, all our station is still powered by generator 24/7, we buy about 99,000 liters every months to power those generators; so, it eats deep into our expenses.

“But by the time we are able to connect to the public power supply which we hope by this month will be done, the cost of buying diesel will drastically reduce and then, we can break even.’’

He said that in 2018, the number of train trips also increased from four to eight, adding that 10 more coaches would be deployed on the route.

Okhiria said that the goal is to run hourly train service on the route as Nigerians become more confident in the service.