The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says it is drawing up measures to put a stop to people from sitting on top of moving trains or hanging to coaches in Lagos State.
Mr Jerry Oche, the Railway District Manager (RDM) in Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday that the corporation was working out a permanent solution to the issue.
Despite fines, police arrests and arraignment of culprits, the trend has continued unabated on train routes in the state.“We are very conscious of safety issues on trains.
“We are working on the permanent solution to make it impossible for anybody to ride on the top of the roof,” Oche said.
The Lagos District Manager appealed to Nigerians to comply with global railway standard.
Oche said that the rules are clear and do not permit standing, sitting on the roof or hanging to the door of a train.
“If you board a train and before it takes off you discover there is no seat, or it is not convenient for you, you can return your ticket and get a refund; it is easy,’’ he said.
Oche said that the excuses often given by those who ride on the roof top of trains that there are inadequate coaches is not tenable.
“The habit is not obtainable anywhere; either by hanging or riding at the top, both are suicidal,” he said.
The RDM said that though the volume of passengers surpassed available coaches, it was not a reason for the corporation to allow people to risk their lives.
Oche also said that the corporation, in order to avert avoidable accidents, would block all illegal level crossings within the Lagos district.
According to him, there are only 26 legal level crossings within the Lagos district, but unknown persons have created many illegal crossings which affect train movement and cause accidents.
“We only have 26 level crossings in Lagos State from Ebute Meta here to Ifo Junction (FOJ), but if you have taken train ride around these places, you will discover more than 26 level crossings.
“In fact, the number of illegal crossings created by people in various areas are three times the number of authorised ones.
“So what we intend to do is to block the illegal ones, because they are another cause of accidents between motorists and the train,” Oche said.
The RDM said that the federal government was looking into ways to expand the operation of the railway to parts of the country yet to be covered, to ease transportation.
Oche said that work was ongoing on the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge project, which the federal government had promised to deliver at the stipulated time.