The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has said buyers of stolen rail facilities in Nigeria risk being jailed, as they are also culprits of vandalism.
The Minister stated this in Ibadan while responding to questions fielded by Journalists on Saturday, after the tour of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Railway project.
Advocating a speedy prosecution of rail facilities vandals, Amaechi said, ” Persons in the business of buying metal products are the main culprits responsible for the surge in cases of rail vandalism and shoukd be jailed to serve as deterrent to others.
The Minister further informed that the Ministry will approach the Judiciary with a plea to create special courts to enable quick dispensation of justice in cases relating to rail vandalism.
“I don’t know why some Nigerians are like the way they are. I have told the Managing Director of NRC to arrest the buyers of the equipment. It is not enough to arrest the vandals.
“It is likened to those who said why should the National Assembly punish those who pay ransom, that law was first passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly when I was a speaker and the reason is, that, when there is no demand, there will be no supply.
“If we don’t pay ransom, they will be tired and they will stop. The same way, if they don’t buy those metals, slippers and others, nobody will steal them.”
Speaking on completion of the assessed Lagos-Ibadan rail train stations, Amaechi assured that with the progress so far achieved, the project should be ready for commissioning by the President in June.
“We are 89 % – 90% ready for commissioning, and we are hoping that by the next three weeks we will be ready and by then, they will give us a date fron the office of the president. One thing is that by the time they give us a date, we will be ready for coming,” affairmed Amaechi.
He also inspected the Apapa seaport and was pleased with the level of work there and tasked the Terminal operators to ensure proper organization at the Ports and appreciated the communities along Lagos – Ibadan for their wonderful coordination and cooperation since the project started and prayed for same in other communities that the Ministry will be working with.
Similarly, the Board Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Ibrahim Alhassan Musa, earlier lauded Messrs. China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) for their effort and prayed the facilities will be put to maximum use by Nigerians.
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