The operationalization of the Chinese-managed modern rail system in Nigeria is arguably one of the most commendable achievements of the present dispensation, barring unforeseen details.
Hopefully, the traditional locomotive engine-powered train coaches will soon phase-out of the system, and Nigeria can then share the same space with her advanced partners.
As a matter of fact, economic growth and advancement is a cumulative process that must be deliberate, and strategic in all intent and purposes.
Interestingly, the massive patronage I observed at the Mobolaji Johnson Train Station in Oyingbo Lagos, and that of the Professor Wole Soyinka Station in Abeokuta, Ogun State, underscores the level of confidence and passion the citizenry attach to result-oriented projects when they see one.
On the flip side, it also shows that the easiest way to win mass confidence and activate people’s trust in governance is to deliver on more result-oriented projects on a continual basis. And should that be the benchmark in Governance and Leadership across the board, then Nigeria will bridge the growth deficit in a matter of years.
As admirable as the rail transformation project might seem, there are quick fixes that are Urgently required to optimize the opportunities that naturally come with the project as it were. Of course, there is room for improvement over time, but it has to be rapid.
Innovation & Technology has made the turnaround time for improvement faster and more efficient. So, no excuses for snail-like movement patterns, we need a shift of the curve!
Therefore, Now is the time to leapfrog from the “funny start” to a higher standard of operational efficiency.
Below are the snapshot of my suggestions;
- Automate the rail operating system by transforming the manually-driven transactional processes into electronic-based system- Introduce a cashless payment system, as well as the E-Reservation & Ticketing system (take a cue from the aviation industry)
- The spacious sizes of the stations gives room for retail and service platforms, which could activate a micro eco-system within the environ.
- Construct Access Road to the train station to ease traffic flow, particularly the Laderin road in Abeokuta and others with similar challenges.
- Power should not be a challenge!
The aforementioned are just a few of the quick fixes that would up the ante, and set the pace for the rapid actualization of the Rail Revolution in Nigeria.