The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has urged yam farmers and traders to take advantage of the services of the Corporation to move their produce to the cities and markets.
The North Western-District Manager, NRC, Alhaji Zakari Audu, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Saturday. Audu said that the wagons in the train could carry 400 tonnes of yam from Minna to Lagos within 12 hours.
“I can assure yam farmers and traders that their goods will be safer and more secure in the train wagon than the risk they take with tubers of yam worth millions on the bad roads.
“I want to put it to the yam dealers and other traders that hauling goods via the rail system is safer, quicker than by road.
“I have had cause to travel sometimes by road and I saw a lot of articulated vehicles fall with all their goods littering everywhere; such risk is less with the train,” he said.
According to the official, traders were yet to take full advantage of the rail system; “you see most of them still prefer trailers or luxury buses but this preference is wrong.
“If only they can move heavy goods by rail, it will save our road from dilapidation and the money for rehabilitation and repairs can be channelled to other areas,” he said.
Audu said that traders were wasting their time and stressing themselves with the rigour and risk on the highways.
“By the time we carry 40 wagons of yam to Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and other cities, there will be an influx of the commodity in the cities and that is food security and that will be good for all,” he said.