The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Fidget Okhiria, announced over the weekend that train fares are about to take on higher rates due to increased energy bills including diesel, which powers trains. Coincidentally, the hike is coming a few days to the reopening of the Abuja – Kaduna railway, which was shut down after terrorists attack it eight months ago

Why it matters 
Nigerians adopted railway travel as their preferred means of transportation due to its affordability and convenience. But with the train attack that left many dead and others kidnapped coupled with hiked train rates, it is unsure what responses Nigerians would have towards rail travel and the Abuja – Kaduna railway in particular. 

Driving the news 
Mr. Fidget Okhiria noted that the new prices would be “implemented with great consideration to the interest of Nigerians and other commuters at heart as the service cannot be halted because of high diesel.” 

The big picture 
The hike in diesel prices in Nigeria forced an occupational setback to many industries, including the country’s aviation sector and local businesses. At N801.09 per litre according to global petrol prices as of November 2022, diesel has increased by 28% from the previous N625 per liter price in March and N260 per litre in 2021. This occurrence has increased the cost of airline tickets and drastically cut the profit margin (if any) of businesses; and even forced closure. 

In case you missed it 

  • On the evening of March 28th, bandits attacked a passenger train carrying 362 people along the Abuja-Kaduna rail track in Northern Nigeria.
  • Reports say that in this attack, bandits abducted 61 people while killing 8 passengers and injuring others. This attack also damaged the train and rail tracks of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
  • At the time of this report, the terrorists had released all the kidnapped victims.  
  • The Minister of Transportation Mua’zu Sambo recently announced that the federal government would be reopening the Abuja-Kaduna rail track for travel by next week with security measures such as presenting National Identification Number before buying a ticket. 
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