Vandals stole 150,000 rail clips in one year – NRC

Vandals wreaked massive havoc on Nigeria’s rail infrastructure between 2022 and 2023, sabotaging government’s effort to resuscitate the struggling rail system and putting a strain on the public lean purse.

The vandalisation saw over 150,000 rail clips stolen by suspected vandals along railway tracks across the country, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has disclosed.

Fidet Okhiria, managing director of the NRC, made the disclosure during a media briefing in Lagos on Thursday.

He said the arrest of suspects engaging in vandalism has not deterred those perpetuating the criminal acts.

Okhiria disclosed that more than 50,000 clips were vandalised between Lagos–Ibadan and another 50,000 on Warri-Itakpe standard gauge tracks.

He said another 50,000 rail clips were stolen from Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge tracks within the same period.

He added that NRC has commenced a sensitisation programme in communities where the rail clips were vandalised.

He said the sensitisation would help in creating awareness of the impacts of vandalism on the railway system in the country.

“The only issue we have now is vandalism of the tracks, which is a big problem. When we replace the tracks, they will come back and vandalise the track again,” NAN quoted Okhiria as saying.

“Just before Christmas, the hoodlums vandalised over 200 clips between Mushin -Oshodi area and we had to replace them three days after the vandalism.

“We are looking for a way to protect the clips, we will also continue to discuss it at the management meeting where we will have to engage a special person to guide our position.”

The managing director added that railway track vandalism can be stopped if the trains are constantly occupied.

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