NRC grows revenue to N6 billion in 2023 from rail operations

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), made over N6 billion on train operations in 2023. This is even as it recorded a 32.08% decline in passenger traffic in the year, recording 2,182,388 passengers traffic, compared to the 3,212,948 recorded in the previous year.

The specifics contained in the NBS report showed that the NRC generated N4,426,495,760 transporting 2,182,388 passengers in 2023, down from N4,546,342,056 for moving 3,212,948 passengers in 2022. It made N1.079 billion on cargo business last year, compared to N441.7 million it made in 2022, with other revenue receipts standing at N565,843,550 last year, compared to N607,800,662 in 2022.

Giving a quarterly breakdown of the ridership, the NBS said in Q1 2023, the Nigeria Railway Corporation transported 441,725 passengers, compared to 953,099 passengers in the corresponding quarter of 2022.

Ridership in Q2 2023, however, improved marginally to 474,117, from 422,393 recorded in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Similarly, ridership in Q3 2023 was 594,348, surpassing the 500,348 recorded in Q3 2022.

The decline in ridership last year has however led to a 2.64% decline in revenue for the NRC both for passenger as well as cargo traffic.

On cargo traffic, there was a significant improvement in cargo movement in 2023 when the NRC moved 317,244 tons of cargo, compared to 157,024 metric tons carried in the corresponding period in 2022.

According to the NBS fact sheet, the total revenue generated by the Corporation in 2023 stood at

Comparing the revenue generated in each of the four quarters of 2023 and 2022, NRC received N768,438,658 in Q1 2023, down from N2,077,836,686 recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022.

For Q2 2023, NRC generated N1,100,941,295, compared to N598,736,300 recorded in Q2 2022, while in Q3 2023, the revenue generated was N1,489,200,328, surpassing the N715,091,714 generated in the corresponding quarter of 2022.

In Q4 2023, NRC generated N1,067,915,479, which was N86,761,877 less than the N1,154,677,356 it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022.

Recall that the Federal Government had announced a Special Intervention Initiative (SII) that saw travelers ride on the trains across its three standard gauge lines and all other networks free.

The free train ride was recorded on the Lagos-Ibadan Train (LIT) Abuja-Kaduna (AKT), and Itakpe-Warri Train (IWT), with riders only required to obtain the free ticket online, as it shuts down its ticketing centres across the country.

The NRC Management had disclosed that the Federal Government only mobilized the Corporation with adequate logistics to cover the 15 days of operation that the free ride was observed from December 21, 2023, to January 4, 2024, and further extended by three days, eventually coming to an end on January 7, 2024.

An official of the NRC who spoke with The Nation attributed the drop in its passenger revenue to the reduction of its trips, repairs of some portion of the tracks, reduced speed, and fear of attack by bandits, insisting that the drop in revenue was unconnected with the cost of diesel and ticket prices.

According to the official who didn’t want to be named, he said the drop in revenue had nothing to do with ticket prices, stating that the Corporation has not reviewed its price since 2022.

“Some of the factors responsible for the drop in revenue are; the reduction in the number of trips, reduced speed due to some bad portions of the rail tracks, and fear of another attack by bandits.

“I think one of the factors for the drop is the fear that the train or the track may be attacked again. The train was attacked by bandits on 28 March 2022 and that led to the suspension of operations for several months. After the resumption of operations, the Corporation received a security alert of an impending attack from the Department of State Security Service (DSS).

“According to the letter, there was a plot by a coalition of banditry syndicates to attack the Abuja — Kaduna Train Service to kidnap passengers on board for ransom.

“The letter which was dated 11th August, 2023 leaked to the public and caused panic amongst some of our prospective passengers which led to a drop in our revenue.”

He continued: “Aside from the security factor, another factor is the speed at which the train travels. The train used to travel for about two hours per trip but because of some bad portions of the tracks and to avoid accidents, the speed was reduced and travel time became three hours or more. This made some of our passengers who had appointments to catch up with to seek alternative and that affected our revenue.

“The number of trips also reduced from six trips daily to four trips. Before the attack in 2022, we used to run six trips but after the attack, the trip was reduced to two and the timing of the trip was not convenient for some of our passengers. This has also affected our revenue.”

Source: The Nation

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