The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Wednesday revived hopes for a cheaper means of transportation in the country as it conveyed 450 newly-recruited soldiers from Zaria to Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the new recruits had just finished their training at the Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria and were posted to Lagos State for service.
Mr Adekunle Ayeni, the Railway District Manager (RDM), Northern District, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria that the corporation has been re-positioned to render quality and reliable services.
Speaking later to newsmen after the soldiers left, the RDM said, "we want to assure Nigerians of quality and reliable services, as the new recruits will arrive in Lagos after 25 hours".
NAN reports that the passengers’ train with five coaches took off from Zaria at 1.15 p.m and was expected to arrive in Lagos at 2.15 p.m on Thursday.
Ayeni called for patronage from government agencies, private organisations and individuals "as their contributions towards the revitalisation of the rail system".
While commending the efforts of the Federal Government towards reviving the railways, the manager appealed for more funding to enable the corporation serve Nigerians better.
He assured that the essence of re-introducing rail services was to provide efficient and effective transportation of goods and people across Nigeria.
NAN reports that Col. Sa'id Jibril-Balarabe, the Commander, Recruit Centre, Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria, led the soldiers to the railway station where they boarded the train.
Balarabe declined making comments on the mode of transportation but NAN gathered that the recruits were heading to Lagos for their first posting.