Despite the ongoing anti-corruption war of the federal government and the efforts of the transport minister to rehabilitate and reposition the Nigerian Railway for ease of transportation in the country at minimal cost, some unscrupulous elements within the North-east Nigerian Railway District Office in Bauchi in connivance with certain gluttonous land grabbers, have perfected plans to commandeer a large portion of land close to the office block of the corporation belonging to the corporation illegally.
An investigation by this medium shows that the idea for the illegal deal was mooted by some criminally-minded staff of the corporation who confidently reached out to their like minds (land grabbers) to perfect the scam secretly and shortchange the corporation for their selfish interest.
An impeccable source close to the scammers alleged that already, letters were dispatched to the national headquarter of the corporation seeking for a ‘purported’ approval to back the criminal act against the interest of the corporation.
According to the source, the act was mooted a few years ago but put on hold until the exit of the former managing director, Sijuwade who was adjudged as a straight forward public officer that could not tolerate such an act.
Further investigation shows several portions of land belonging to the corporation in Bauchi state were either sold out criminally or leased out to interested persons without the approval of the national headquarter.
A fact-finding visit to the North-east zonal head office of the corporation shows a large portion of land hitherto belonging to the corporation is now occupied by private houses as in other parts at Bauchi GRA where the famous Railway Club (Africana) and senior staff quarters are situated have been tempered with while some of the staff quarters are occupied by tenants including the boys quarters just as the club is rented out to a private entrepreneur but left in a dilapidated situation without care for over 20 years.
Retired staff of the corporation who pleaded for anonymity stated that:
“Nigerian Railway used to be a disciplined organization that generated a lot of revenue for the government while in full operation.
The present minister is doing his best to resuscitate the railway but, it is saddening to now hear that its property is now under grab through connivance with some staff. Nigerian Railway Corporation has a lot of properties scattered all over the federation that must be protected.
There should be a thorough investigation to ascertain the truth and bring those criminals to book. There is a need to carry out a count of all the corporation’s properties and punish those involved in any scam”.