the Nigerian Railway Corporation ( NRC ) today 2020 is an un-inspiring, lean?, spectre-like? shadow of it’s former vast, robust, vibrant, dynamic self in the 1970s and through to 1981?
at one time, it was the largest employer of workers in Nigeria and had a employee strength counting managers and staff of not less than 30,000 persons across Southern Nigeria and Northern Nigeria.
that was back in the day.
for a while now? the rumours around the Nigeria Railways have been rumours of an organization that is not able to pay salaries of staff and owes workers and retired staff for several months on end before paying any salaries or retirement benefits / pensions / emoluments.
so it was heart gladdening when rumours went about Nigeria that Nigeria is receiving aid from an international organization for the purpose of improving the Nigerian Railway Corporation and building new railway lines across Nigeria.
improvements are welcome everywhere.
at least 90% of the rail tracks / rail lines of the Nigeria Railways were built when Britain ruled Nigeria i.e before Nigeria was granted self-rule i.e self-governance i.e independence by Britain on October 1, 1960 and so in line with the technology of that time, they are NARROW GAUGE tracks / rail lines.
as far back as 1975, 1976, 1977 i.e 45 years ago, 44 years ago, 43 years ago →→→
( 2020 – 1975 = 45, 2020 – 1976 = 44 years, 2020 – 1977 = 43 years )
→→→ engineers of the Nigerian Railways had, according to rumours, been advocating and clamouring for a change from the NARROW GAUGE TRACK to the STANDARD GUAGE TRACK.
the reasons for this advocacy then by Railway Engineers, according to rumours, included that Britain which had built all the Nigeria Rail Tracks no longer built trains ( i.e engines and passenger coaches ) for the NARROW GUAGE TRACK since by then ( i.e 1975?) Britain had long advanced to and long progressed to using the STANDARD GUAGE TRACK and so all trains built by Britain ( and Europe ) were all done using STANDARD GAUGE MEASUREMENTS and so could not run on the old NARROW GAUGE which Nigeria was/is using.
this meant that to buy a train .. engine or coach .. for Nigeria, Nigeria not only had to place an order but in fact place an order for an obsolete, old model equipment, no longer being manufactured as a current everyday use-item in Britain ( and/or Europe ) and which could only be manufactured by re-surrecting abandoned? old manufacturing technologies and techniques.
in effect, according to rumours, Nigeria had to place a special? order? i.e in other words, a buying order for specially manufactured equipment i.e for equipment specially manufactured for Nigeria — which in monetary terms meant that the buying order to buy a NARROW GAUAGE train .. engine or coach .. was/is FAR? MORE EXPENSIVE than the buying order to buy a STANDARD GUAGE TRAIN .. engine or coach.
so it is heart gladdening to hear rumours that after all this time .. 45 years or more ??? .. Nigeria has finally woken up to the reality that ALL RAIL TRACKS IN NIGERIA SHOULD BE CONVERTED FROM NARROW GAUGE TRACKS TO STANDARD GAUGE TRACKS with a rail-line been built from LAGOS TO IBADAN by an examplar of this initiative.
one question that arises though is :
does Nigeria have a proposed / projected time frame e.g 5 years, within which it proposes / plans / intends to convert ALL EXISTING RAIL TRACKS in NIGERIA from NARROW GAUGE TRACKS to STANDARD GAUGE TRACKS ???
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