The Management Problems Of Nigerian Railway Corporation (N R C) (A Case Study Of Eastern District)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

The Management Problems Of Nigerian Railway Corporation (N R C) (A Case Study Of Eastern District)


The development of an efficient transportation system is often regarded as crucial to the process of economic development of a country (Nigeria). This is because transport in any form is essential to the execution of daily economic and social activities in any given area.

The Nigeria Railway corporation (N R C) which was established for this purpose of enhancing socio – economic activities in the country, is not living up to expectation. The corporation has been accused of inefficiency and ineffectiveness in providing the essential services they were set up to provide.

This is as a result of a number of problems tacking the corporation which this research shall emphasize the managerial problems of Nigeria Railway corporation.

These managerial problems have prevented the corporation from meeting its obligations to the country.

Many reasons have been mentioned as being responsible for this poor state of the corporation. These include: lack of operational facilities and equipments, poor revenue generation, poor capital base, Lack of government financial support and investment, adequate manpower and most importantly managerial problems to mention but a few.

All the above-mentioned problems took their roots from managerial problem.

This Nigeria Railway Corporation at the stage of inception was rendering adequate services but we could recall that the managerial problems of the Nigeria Railway Corporation emanated after the indigenization, Act of 1976.

Therefore, this project examine the managerial problems of the Nigerian Railway corporation with the objective of establishing the factors responsible the factors responsible and ways solving these problems.

In doing this, this prospect of the Railway system in our socio-economic development were established. At the process of rendering justice to this topic, it was handled as interline and was divided into three chapters. Chapter one treated the background and need of the study, statement of the problem scope of the study e t c.

Chapter two on the other hand, treated the literature review them chapter three looked at research methodology.

This is the recommendation and the conclusion of the project.

Chapter One


1.1 Background and Need of the Study

The history of the Nigeria Railway corporation (N R C) commenced in the ninety – eight years ago in 1898, when the colonial government initiated the construction of railways. This was principally to winder the scope of transportation facilities in the country which have become imperative as a result of the tremendous growth of commerce

Nigeria railway corporation ordinance Act 1955 (see 15) is fully owned by the federal government the Nigeria Railway corporation (N R C) was also incorporated on October 1st 1955 but was not provided with a working capital.

The corporation commenced operation in 1912 with a root approximately put at 1496 kilometers. By 1927, this reached 2,571 kilometers and by 1936 it made further increase up to 3,057 the kilometers covered reached 3,062 and by 1978.

These increase were followed by a down ward trend between 1958 and 1959, when it, length roads decreased to 2,846 kilometers.

Picked up again, in 1961 and by 1962 the roads reached 3,036 kilometers. By 1963 it expanded to 3,505 kilometers and only very little or no change till today

Voeight F. (1967) stated that, the freight capacity of the N R C increased from 137,045 tonnes in 1955, to 140,000 tonnes in 1987.

However, the staff strength of the corporation have increased from 33, 000 the figure at commencement of business in 1912 to 34,400.

According to N R C ordinance Act 1955:15 the goals and objectives of N R C as stated in the ordinance from 1955 are as follows:

  1. To manage and operate the railway and provide reasonable facilities for the carrying of passengers and load.
  2. To control railway expenditures
  3. To ensure that, so far as it is practicable annual renewed are sufficient to meet all expenditures properly chargeable to revenue.
  4. To direct and control the expansion of the railway system.

According to Nzegwu (1973:15) the main objective of the NRC to provide efficient and reliable goods and passengers services in order to enhance economic, social and general welfare of the country. The immediate objective, he continued was to lay a sound technical and economic foundation for a steady and successful operation in subsequent years.

Looking closely at the above-mentioned objectives, if vigorously pursued as comprehensive enough to make fore efficient in the corporation. Inspite of the fact that issue of problem in public discussed in the past, not much researcher have been carried out with special reference to managerial problems in NRC.

This is partly responsible for the researchers interest in the study.

But at this point in time, we shall restrict ourselves to managerial problem of Nigerian Railway Corporation. Moreover, in recent times, so much importance has been attached to the role, which the railway system can play in our socio – economic development if the corporation can be put front on its feet. OSUHI O.E. (1987:18) the need to resuscitate NRC brought Chiness engineers into the operation and management of the corporation.

Attempt have also been made to provide a relatively Objective reason for the poor state of our rail transport system the managerial problem affecting it and ways to enhance productivity and efficient corporation in our country.

Hence, all these were aimed towards finding a way or solution for re-activating rehabilitating and revamping the corporation thus to enable it play its expected role in Nigeria. The major sector which can revamp easily the corporation is the ability to bring efficient management in NRC.

There is also a like between transportation an socio – economic development in any country most economic policies always consider transport as an integral part of any development process, and so any problem be it managerial financial, personal etc concerning transportation should be taken seriously. This is where the railway system, comes in as one of the best system of transportation for economic development. In regard to this, there is a lot of concern when this system is not functions as it should.

Accounting to Quarterly Journal of NRC Vol,2:1996:11 the stagnation of affairs in Nigeria railway corporation has been as a result of management problems which may be inability to pay workers salaries by the management inability to promote worker when due and disbursement of workers welfare packages.

It is believed that the managerial problem of the Nigeria railway corporation is so great and important. Hence constitute area of interest for a development country like ours.

This study is very important in order to examine the managerial problem of the corporation and suggest remedies

We could recall that the major course of the managerial problem has been as a result of under finding of the NRC for more than 20 years, which resulted in deterred maintenance in both the corporations infrastructure and the operating gear (1996:6 Rail news July – September).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The Nigerian Railway corporation (NRC) was established for the purpose of carrying goods and passengers by rail and storage of goods within Nigeria (whether or not these goods are to be carried by the corporation); the consignment of goods on behalf of other persons from any place within Nigeria or else where, the provision within Nigeria both for passengers carried by the corporation and for other persons, hostel, other living accommodation and place of recreation

Others include, the provision within Nigerian of such other amenities and facilities for passengers carried by the corporation and other persons using the services performed or the facilities provided by the corporation as it may appear to the corporation requisite or expedient to provide and subject to the consent of federal government to performed any services or provide facilities in any territory adjacent to Nigeria.

However, the corporation activities to day are considerably limited in scope because of the managerial problem that has hindered its operations thus preventing it from meeting its obligations to the government and people of the country.

These has created a great concern and sources of worry to the federal government as well as those whose business are greatly affected by the poor state of our system of transport this sources of worry to the federal government force the federal government of the federal republic of Nigeria to enter into contract in 1996 with the china civil Engineering construction corporation (CCECC) as a way to bringing security in the management of Nigeria rail way corporation

Amongst the managerial problems playing the corporation is financial management sources of fund, management fund, disbursement of fund, management of tracks, management, communication management vis telephone warlike talkie, personnel management via employment and firing, problem of training, management of coaches via toiletries, bathing rooms, kitchens and eating places, non – availability inadequate supply of water, intermitted supply of light as a result of canalization of lights inside the coaches.

Also it has been identified that the management of N R C have not been able to claims arising from operation of uneconomic stations and branch lines, lack of adequate and qualified manpower, funding of N R C pension.

It has been identified that workers relationship is very poor in this study, the focus is on the managerial problems.

1.2 Scope of the Study

This study will examine the managerial problems of the Nigeria Railway corporation (NRC) and ways of improving the managerial problems.

All categories of workers were involved in this research and all department were covered. However, this covers only the headquarter in Enugu. It is unfortunate that all the stations within the Eastern Division were not covered

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate the managerial problems afflicting the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC). This is to find out what has been the barrier to their progress, why the corporation cannot attain maximum productivity this study also intends to show what prospect an efficient and effective N N C holds for our socio – economic development.

1.4 Theoretical Foundation of the Study

According to some political economist like the Marxist school, in a pure social list economic all means of production and services are owned by the state in a pure capitalist economy, all means of production and services are owned by private individuals called bourgeoisie.

But in a mixed economy, some means of production and services are owned by the state while some are owned by the private individuals (the capitalist or bourgeoisie.

Nigeria is a mixed economy, therefore, certain means of production and services are owned by the government. That companies are called public corporations.

They provide services which the bourgeoisie can not provide or can provide at a very prohibitive prices.

The Nigeria Railways Corporation is an example and is owned solely by the federal government.

The interaction between transportation and economic development is always a subject of theoretical interest and practical importance while some regard transport improvement as indispensable to an acceleration of the development as a result rather than as a cause of economic development.

One of the proponents of the view is that arch type of colonial administrations like Lord Lugard, who in 1922 stated that the material development of Africa may be summed up in the word transport. And as late as 1967, a united Nations study regarded transport as the formulative power of economic growth”

Lord Lugard’s view and that of the united Nations

Study forms the theoretical foundation of this study because of the fact that it recognizes the role which a well developed transport system can play in the socio-economic development of Africa which incidentally includes Nigeria.

1.5 Significance of the Study

A great number of discussions and studies have been carried out in the past as regards the issue of managerial problems and prospects in Public corporation in Nigeria. This is evident in the fact that the issue is of great significant to the socio – economic well being of the country and as such cannot be over looked. Although not much studies involving the N R C have been carried out in the past. The role of the N R C can play in our socio – economic development cannot be over – emphasized.

Transportation being an important aspect of any development initiative or process, the N R C has not attained the efficiency level expected of it in the transportation of goods and passengers. This is a result of several managerial problems effecting its operations.

From the foregoing therefore, this study will help to bring these managerial problem to light make recommendations on how these managerial problems could be solved and ultimately point out the advantages derivable from an efficient and effective N R C in a development country like ours.

This study will be of immense help to the federal government who has pumped in a lot of money into the corporation of recent. This study will equally bring to light the present situation or position of the corporation to the management and the government in order to rehabilitate, revitalize and revamp the corporation.

Furthermore the study will be an academic pasture to researchers, students and other alike who would want to delve into such a study or even similar studies.

1.6 Limitation of the Study

One of the major limitations of this study is time constraint. The time factor partly inhibited the collection of enough and complete information on the subject

This was further compounded by the fact that during this short period, the researcher also needed to fulfill other academic obligations necessary for the award of a Bachelor degree.

Another factor that restrained the procurement of adequate data, thus, constituting a limitation to the study was the large a limitation to the study was the large area and people to cover within a relatively short period in the course of the study most major stations in the division like port Harcourt, Aba, Umhahia etc were not covered.

Again the work force in the Eastern division is so Large that it is not possible to include everyone in the study.

In addition, limited financial resources also constituted significant factor. The research could not have done better than the considering this limited supply of the necessary resources greatly as a result of the economy of the country.

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The result of this study makes one not train a fundamental question as to the prospects of public corporations in Nigeria.

The problem faced by the NRC are numerous and diverse, likewise the prospects of a well development rail system of transport is great.

The creation of more states in Nigeria has created greater dem and for goods and services which in turn has exerted considerable pressure on the available limited transportation capacity with the rising trend in education development, great earning capacity of the people, increasing standard of living, greater expectations of life, fast tempo of Agricultural, industrial and general economic development, the need for prompt decision on the pattern of further railway development has become more urgent than ever.

In the light of this, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Government investment in the corporation should be on a continuous basis with adequate allocation of funds in every year’s budget. The problem of inadequate reimbursement of claims arising from operation of inumencrative services and the maintenance of in economic stations and branch/lines, funding or NRC’S pension fund from revenue and Lack of properly structured capital base should be taken care of by the government. The government should write – off all outstanding loans on the capital account of the corporation and all debts owned finance institution by the corporation.
  2. Rail transport should receive prominent financial allocations in sub sequent National Development plans in order to equalize opportunities for competition with mides of transport. The rail system of transportation should be fully integrated into our socio-economic development programme and made to be responsive to the needs of rail users and the economy.
  3. There should be an urgent procurement and installation of new locomotive rolling stock (coaches and wagons) with adequate spare parts back up, to keep pace with traffic offering, fast tempo of Agricultural, industrial and general economic development.
  4. The existing workshop of the corporation should as a matter of urgency be refurbished and equipped with modern facilities for increased production of spare parts, maintenance and repair of all equipment locomotives, coaches, wagons as well as the construction and maintenance of networks of rail tracks and supporting structure. This will save a lot of foreign exchange for the government and make the railway more capital base. The activities of the workshop can be commercialized by extending their services to other organizations.
  5. New signaling and communications equipment should be installed to replace obsolete and vandalized ones. Signaling and communication equipment is very important in order to control movement of trains in a manner that will assure maximum safety by providing adequate time and space interval between following trains. The present signaling and communication equipment adversely restricts trains speeds punctuality and line capacity. They should be replaced with modern equipment. Again communication equipment like phones should be installed in all the stations to make for easier communication. There should be adequate construction and maintenance of railway signaling and communication equipment.
  6. An appropriate and well-structured communication channel should be adopted by the corporation to facilitate the dissemination of information within the organization. This will enable all departments to work like a team and achieve the objective of the corporation.
  7. Facilities should be improved at the stations and on the train.
    1. The facilities on the train include the provisions of good toilet lights, fans and the refurbishment of those warm out seats in the train. Adequate security and a good separation of passengers and goods should be maintained.
    2. The facilities at the stations should contain the following:
      1. The corporation should endeavour to redesign its stations to meet the current need and reflect the new service level and enhance the image of the corporation.
      2. Lounging areas should be provided to take a good number of people bound to go on trains with the next movement period for short and long distance travelers,. These facilities should be provided in accordance with the class of tickets purchased.
      3. Hotels where travelers can check in on arrival should be provided with adequate services.
      4. Good sanitary environments should be highly maintained.
      5. Sufficient provision must be made to separate the movement of non – convenience goods from the movement of passengers.
      6. Adequate delivery procedure of these higgage must be streamlined to dismemberment.
      7. Automatic ticket vending machines ease congestion at high density stations, or deport stations
  8. There should be an immediate realignment of existing tracks to flatten sharp curves and ease steep gradients provision of continuous welded raise to suitable section on concrete sleepers, and mechanization of tracks maintenance.
  9. Employee morale must be bolstered by indoctrination on the now era – Adequate housing and fringe benefits that have existed in principle but not in practice should be gradually and judiciously reintroduced to carry the workers along in addition special salary package is advocated for workers of the corporation because of the nature of their work
  10. Mandatory movement of bulk goods from seaports, state capitals industrial areas as and agricultural centers to other rail served parts of the country should be encouraged by the government linking of all seaports state capitals, mining localities, industrial centers, and various steel rolling mills in the country with rail network should be carried out.
  11. Computer train services should be introduced as a way of alleviating the suffering being encountered by the masses. This train services can help to decongest over populated cities like Lagos, Kano, Port – Harcourt e.t.c. since people can decide to live in surrounding towns or villages and come to work from there.
  12. The general public must be made aware of the changes in the corporation in such a manner that will fell enthusiastic about it. Songs slogans and other promotional techniques should be used through the mass media to reach the public. Government officials should be encouraged to travel by rail.
  13. The government should be allow the management of the corporation according to the dictates of the day. This became necessary because the corporation should be a capital-intensive establishment and if it not run as a profitable ventures, it meet all problems. The management of the corporation should be able to take a wide view on an wide range of issues concerning the corporation and decide on an appropriate policy individual to be appointed to the board of the corporation should include professional experts who are well informed, well educated and possess integrity that transcends ethnic or tribal loyalty and must be committed to building a viable corporate organization for developing society like ours. The board and management staff should work harmoniously.

The recommendation of number 13 is the key to other recommendation. The major problem facing Nigeria Railway corporation is the “MANAGERIAL PROBLEM”

Other problems corrupt up because of inefficiency in the management.

The management should seat up to convenience us that the managerial skill is in them or else the federal government should sweep all the staff from the rank and file to the top echelon and replace with foreign experts.
Further researchers should try to study problems concerning any of the divisional headquarters not covered by this work. Such areas as financial problems technical problem, personnel problem, communication problem etc, should be studied. Again, they can look into the operational problems facing the corporation. The issue of privatization and commercialization is another area of interest.


In the words of Lord Lugard “the material development of Africa, may be summed up, in the one word – transportation”.

And as late as 1967, a united Nation’s study regarded transport as the formation power of economic growth.

It is undeniable that transport is indispensable to modern socio –economic development especially in a developing country such as Nigeria. This importance that is attached to transport is what gave rise to this study.

It is important to review paragraph two in page 87. According to ESBS news Sept. 30.6 .30 am. The federal government is to construct new rail lines said Illukwe. The new rail lines are to link Ajaokuta, Port – Harcourt, Lagos, Benin, Enugu line E.t.c.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation, for long has suffered neglect from successive government is the past, this neglect has resulted in the poor state of the corporation, lack of basic operational facilities and generally managerial inefficiency.

In the process of this study which looked into the managerial problems and prospects of the Nigeria railway corporation, a number of findings were made in the light of this finding, it can be argued that the corporation has not been fully integrated into our socio-economic development. This is as a result of poor policy implementation which was insincere by the heavy managerial problems facing NRC.

However, these neglects by government in the fast and the poor state of the system made the present government to make it a priority programe to rehabilitate, revitalize and modernize the railway system of transportation.

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