By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) generated N1.4 billion in revenue in nine months, a fraction (32 per cent) of the N4.4 billion revenue target for 2020.
The corporation noted that this was caused by the coronavirus pandemic which affected its operations as train services were stopped during its peak, thus affecting the IGR projection for the year.
The Managing Director of NRC, Mr Fidelis Okhiria, at the 2021 Budget Defence to the Joint Committee of Land and Marine transport at the National Assembly in Abuja on Friday, added that a sum of N245 million was remitted to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as at October 31.
He said, “The Joint Committee should also note that for the year 2020, the corporation presented a separate Internally Generated Revenue & Expenditure Budget. The sum of N1.4 billion has been generated as at September 30 against the projection of N4.4 billion from our core activities, representing 32 per cent performance.
“It is necessary to mention that our train services were stopped and significantly reduced upon resumption due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The construction work within the Lagos corridor including access to Apapa Port also impacted on our ability to provide train services.
“It is important to mention that during the period under review, the Corporation started making payments from its IGR into the Federal Government dedicated TSA as directed by the Federal Executive Council. A total sum of about N245.5million has so far been lodged into the account as at October 31.
“The Railway Property Management Company Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Nigerian Railway Corporation. As at October 31, the company has generated about N1.4 billion representing 91.5 per cent of N1.5 billion which was the revised approved revenue target for 2020.”
He said that the corporation projected N5.3 billion as Internally Generated Revenue for 2021 from its investments.
“For the year 2021, the corporation plans to generate a total of N5.3billion as IGR. More coaches are expected to be deployed to Abuja-Kaduna Train Service, the full commercial operation has commenced between Warri-Itakpe and the Lagos-Ibadan Train Service is expected to commence soon,” Mr Okhiria said.
According to him, the corporation’s operational expenditure remains very high because most of the stations along Abuja-Kaduna Railway line are substantially powered by diesel generators.
He said efforts were, however, being made to ensure that alternative sources through Independent Power Plant (IPP) was explored to service all routes beginning with the Standard gauge lines.
The NRC boss noted that the initial revenue target of N2 billion was reviewed downwards due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In 2021, the company has proposed to generate N2 billion, the total proposed Capital Budget of the Nigerian Railway Corporation is N23.8 billion distributed into 17 budget lines.
“In the year 2021 Budget (Capital and Recurrent) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation for the year 2020 budget, the sum of about N18 billion was appropriated for Capital Budget.
“This amount was subsequently revised downwards to N16 billion due to the economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to shutting down of economic activities as well as the dwindling revenue from crude oil.
“As at today, about N15 billion representing 94 per cent of 2020 Capital Appropriation has been released and the procurement process is on-going.
“The sum of N7.1 billion was appropriated for the year 2020 as total Personnel cost for the Corporation and as at September 2020 a total of about N6.47 billion has been paid, leaving a balance of about N627 million,” Mr Okhiria added.
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