The China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) has blamed ill luck for the malfunctioning rails it recently built for Nigerians.
CRCC after-sales manager, Su Zhiguang, who heads the maintenance team on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, told Peoples Gazette that the trains, which arrived in Nigeria in January, were test run and certified ready for deployment in China.
At least three passenger trains had broken down after suffering mechanical failures in quick succession over the last two weeks, leaving hundreds stranded along the dangerous Abuja-Kaduna tracks.
When asked why the trains (CDD5c2 2701 and CDD5c2 2702 models) were frequently breaking down only a few months after they were commissioned, the CRCC engineer said: “It’s hard to say, maybe bad luck because the trains were newly built and certified okay by our company in China before they were sent to Nigeria in January.”
“In my many years of experience in after-sales service, this situation is the first I’m seeing,” Mr. Zhiguang said.
Just last week, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, apologised to Nigerians for the frequent breakdown of the Abuja-Kaduna rail locomotives.
“I want to apologise to Nigerians over what happened at the Abuja-Kaduna rail station. We now have new locomotives and we have called the Chinese because we never expected the mechanical fault at this early stage.
“On behalf of the Federal Government, the ministry and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), we apologise to Nigerians and I have instructed the NRC to fix it or invite the Chinese.
“If this is happening now, then they should bring back our old locomotives, it will just affect turnaround times because we get the new locomotive to increase the turnaround time,” he said.
Amaechi then called for an increase in the pace of work by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) adding that COVID-19 pandemic was no longer an excuse.