Officials of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Enugu zone arrived Umuahia Friday, January 22, 2021 and immediately commenced the assessment of Railway premises and properties in the Umuahia Station.
Indeed, it was enlivening and hope rising for the residents of Umuahia who had waited for a long time for the return of railway services to the ancient city. Their presence, the residents believed, signals the commencement of the rehabilitation exercise of the Eastern Rail line as it is being done in the North and West of Nigeria.
It is believed that the exercise is also being carried out in Aba and other parts of the Eastern Railway Stations of the NRC and its sub Stations around the zone.
Those around the Railway quarters like people in Aba Park, Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat vicinity as well as the Railway Police Station looked on in admiration as the NRC officials ran their tapes, measuring every bit of the space in the premises with steadfastness, beginning from the Railway quarters to Aba Road, near NUJ Secretariat.
The four officials, a lady and three men, took their measurement to the road, to the consternation of many. They demanded to see some of the landlords of the buildings near the Railway quarters, even as they pointed out that they were in Umuahia to ascertain certain things which included: the receipts of the lands bought within vicinity, Certificate of Occupancy (CoO) and time of purchase of the land or building involved.
One of them told our reporter in a casual conversation inadvertently, “We’re in Umuahia to find out where Railway lands and other properties of NRC are situated and bring them in line with what our records show”. The exercise, he disclosed, is going on in Aba Station and other parts of Eastern zone of the Nigeria Railway Corporation.
Asked if the Railway quarters extends to Aba Road as they were measuring up to Aba Road, he retorted, “we built this Wall Clock Tower here. Initially, the Umuahia North Local Government Council belonged to the Railway.
“We’ll soon recover our lands and investments. Those that have been sold officially as the records show will be officially acknowledged, while those not disposed of will be recovered.
“We want them to show us the genuine receipts record purposes, but if they don’t, the property will be recovered”, he asserted, as others unaware of who our reporter was, continued their business of measuring the length and width of the area.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.