Transportation Ministry, BON To Collaborate Against Vandalism Of Rail Infrastructure

The Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Alkali has disclosed that the ministry would be collaborating with Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) to tackle the vandalisation of critical infrastructure in the sector especially those of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Oloruntola Olufemi, made this known when he received a delegation from BON led by its Vice Chairman, Tony Akiotu, according to a statement made available by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi on Friday in Abuja.

He said the media can do a lot in helping to combat the vandalisation of rail infrastructure.

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Speaking further during the visit, Oloruntola stated that President Bola Tunubu has directed that all public events should now commence with the national pledge; adding that the essence of this is to rekindle a strong feeling of citizenship and commitment to nationhood in Nigerians.

He, therefore, urged the media to help to redirect people’s attention to the spirit of commitment to nationhood.

Further on the vandalization of public infrastructure, the Permanent Secretary noted that it is the failure of citizens to report vandals that leads to vandalism and destruction of public infrastructure.
“I want to specifically call for your assistance in donating time to jingles that can urge people who might see, to report vandals of public property.”

The Permanent Secretary also seized the moment to explain the current imbroglio involving the Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Alkali, and his critics over the recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed to initiate the Porthacourt-Calabar-Enugu-Abuja Standard Rail Project.

He explained that in initiating the project, the Minister is committed and passionate about his job as such, he’s also open to making sure that he gets the best advice. The Permanent Secretary stated that BON could have come in useful to defend the Government’s position.

He stated that the Ministry is running most of its projects on EPC plus F which is Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Finance, adding that the contractors are in charge of both engineering, procurement, construction, and finance, saying that finance is through loans with no expenditure from Government.

Olufemi opined that this arrangement could not have brought the Government into debt as some of the critics are claiming.
Oloruntola therefore, reiterated the need for the media to play their various roles for the progress of government policies and programmes to thrive.

Earlier, Akiotu stated that BON is the umbrella body of all broadcast media outfits – both public and private in the Federal Republic of Nigeria; adding that the primary assignment of BON is to coordinate and serve as a rallying point for members and to represent, promote and advance their interest and skills. “It is also to serve as an advisory body and consultative forum to the Federal and State Governments and other stakeholders on broadcasting matters among others”.

Akiotu stated that the aim of the visit to the Ministry of Transportation was to discuss how to use the media, most especially the platform of BON to curb vandalism of critical infrastructure of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, most especially those of the Nigerian Railways Corporation.

He added that BON has noticed the high rise in the vandalism of rail lines by unscrupulous elements stealing critical equipment.

Furthermore, he said that the worrisome aspect is that the unpatriotic activities cut across all zones in the country.

He stated that BON is open to seeking collaboration and offering its platform for enlightenment and education for critical stakeholders in the transportation sector.

He said that through the instrumentality of their members, they can galvanize and increase the tempo of enlightenment and sensitization of the public on the need to safeguard government infrastructure in their domain.

According to Akiotu, “BON believes that the Federal Ministry of Transportation can also use the various members of BON to project and promote the activities of the Ministry to the public; “We offer you our fellowship and partnership to make sure that you are able to deliver on your mandate”.

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