By CHRIS OCHAYI, Abuja
The Federal Government has threatened to deal ruthlessly with anyone found pilfering or tampering in any way with the metal scraps of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC.
Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar who made the threat while inaugurating a ministerial committee charged to identify and ascertain the total metal scraps of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, throughout the country, vowed that any person caught will be made to face the full wrath of the law
The committee was charged amongst other things to, take stock and take inventory of the total number and category of scrap metals within the Nigerian Railway Corporation Rail Network Nationwide, and to asses and determine their current market value.
The committee which is chaired by Engineer Bature Gafai, the Director, Rail and Mass Transit in the Federal Ministry of Transport is expected to carry out this assignment within 3 months from the day of inauguration.
Other members were drawn from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the State Security Services, the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, as well as Accounts and Transparency Units in the Federal Ministry of Transport.
In his address during the inauguration, the Honourable Minister described the work of the committee as ‘very huge, you are meant to traverse the length and breadth of this nation where we have NRC presence to carry out physical inspection, identification and assessment of all available rail metal scraps and derelicts.
This physical inspection according to the minister would enable the committee ascertain the quantum of these scraps.
Senator Umar added that the committee was not mandated to dispose off the scraps. Rather, on completion of the assignment, the Ministry would submit a comprehensive report to Mr. President.
He also used the opportunity to warn the general public that any person found pilfering or tampering in any way with the scraps will face the full wrath of the law.
It will be recalled that the issue of scraps has generated a lot of controversies in the past.
It is in order to avoid the re-enactment of such controversies that prompted the present administration to establish this committee to ensure transparency, accountability as well as equity in the handling of government properties.