NSE working to actualise local manufacture of railway parts – Chairman

Mr Olutosin Ogunmola, Chairman, NSE Ikeja branch,.

 THE Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) says it is working to ensure the actualisation of the agreement for local manufacture of critical parts for the maintenance of Nigeria’s railway infrastructure.

The Chairman, NSE Ikeja branch, Mr Olutosin Ogunmola gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that the collaboration the NSE signed with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) to manufacture railway parts, has not been abandoned.

Ogunmola, however, agreed that the project had been “slowed down” by bureaucracy since it began in June 2021.

He said that the NSE came up with the initiative to ensure local manufacture of railway parts to boost employment opportunities for local engineers and reduce capital flight.

“What I will call some bureaucratic bottlenecks have actually slowed us down, basically on the part of the NRC.

“It is important also for the NRC, being at the heart of the collaboration, to look at it deeply.

“I think some other events now overtook it; some of the unfortunate events of the train attacks and a whole lot of issues.

“So we are actually still waiting for the management of NRC to call us back to a roundtable to say they have been able to sort out their own end and then we can move forward,’’ he said.

Ogunmola said that FIIRO had in the past produced automobile parts and prototypes for the power sector, which made NSE confident of its capacity to produce quality railway parts.

“If FIIRO can develop the railway prototypes then we can bring in industry stakeholders that can actually take it up and then we can begin to mass produce,’’ he said.

The chairman said the NSE had visited FIIRO twice to work on the plan for the production and commercialisation of critical parts for the maintenance of the country’s railway infrastructure.

He said that the overall aim was to boost the capacity of local firms and engineers, to enable them take over maintenance of the railway infrastructure after the Chinese complete ongoing projects.

The chairman said a recent conference by the Ikeja NSE branch analysed and proffered solutions to issues of security of the nation’s transportation sector, including railways.

“For us as engineering professionals, what we are putting forward to government is to ensure that we deploy technology.

“Almost everybody makes use of the GPS today, before you go anywhere, you are able to project the traffic situation.

“We also have a lot of new technological devices that can be used for surveillance around the rail tracks,’’ he said. (NAN)