The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says train operations nationwide cannot commence until the ban on interstate travel occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic is lifted by Federal Government.
Mr Niyi Alli, NRC Director of Operations, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
NAN reports that federal government had on April 28 announced a ban on interstate travels with effect from May 4, 2020 due to the spread of corona virus.
“We cannot commence operations of Mass Transit Train Service (MTTS) until interstate travel ban is lifted by the Federal Government,’’ he said.
Alli said that NRC was working out new acceptable guidelines of operation in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
”We are working out modalities on how to operate because the train is the largest means of transportation in commuting people from one state to another.
”Although the corporation has lost so much financially but the safety of our customers remain paramount.
“We have been receiving calls, messages from our esteemed customers to commence operations but we cannot flout the federal government law on interstate travel ban.
“The federal government is our employer, we have to work with them to contain the spread of this pandemic ravaging the world,” he said.
The NRC boss said that the Lagos to Kano train service runs through many states while Abuja runs to Kaduna and vice versa; Lagos to Ojoko also goes from lddo to Ijoko in Ogun.
Alli said that the Eid-el-Fitri celebration is one of the peak periods of the Mass Transit Train Service but the lockdown has kept business still.
The NRC boss, however, apologised to the esteemed train customers to bear with the corporation while waiting for the government to lift the ban on interstate travel.
Alli also noted that freight services in the port were still in progress.