Minna - The President-general, Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NURW), Mr Ben Okoro, has urged Nigerians to support the Federal Government’s effort to revive the rail transport sector.
Okoro, who made the call on Friday in Minna at the 20th National Executive Council meeting of the union tagged: ``Railway Industry, Job creation and Economic Growth in Nigeria,’’ said the effort would create more jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerians.
"We all as stakeholders and patriotic Nigerians should support the federal government in its poise and resolve to reposition the nation’s rail transport sub-sector.
"This is because there is much for the country to gain in a healthy, effective and efficient rail transport system in terms of job creation and economic growth," Okoro said.
He urged the government to evolve legislative framework that would sustain development in the rail transport industry in order to achieve mass job creation in design, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure.
"If this can be achieved, construction projects will abound in the sub-sector and employable youths will find jobs to do.
"This is one of the many realistic ways through which rail transport industry can help address the issue of joblessness in the country," he said.
The union leader said government must sustain ongoing rehabilitation of the rail transport by moving to track modernisation and standardisation.
"If Nigeria truly desires triumph over the running challenges associated with the issues of youth employment and empowerment, the on-going rehabilitation in the rail transport sub-sector must be sustained.
"This is not only to put the nation’s predominant cape gauge track lines in proper working conditions, but to gravitate from its status quo to track modernisation and standardisation," Okoro said.
Responding, the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, who was represented by the deputy director in the Department of Land and Rail, reassured the railway workers that the federal government was committed to total transformation of the sector.
Also speaking, Mr Adeseyi Sujuwade, the NRC Managing Director, assured the workers that they would be well motivated in terms of welfare and training to enable them put in their best.
Sijuwade, who was represented by the corporation’s Director of Administration and Human Resources, Alhaji Aminu Guzo, said that the corporation would do everything possible to assist government to realise its objective of modernising the railway transport industry.