The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Railway Corporation to urgently reopen the Ede Railway Station in Osun State and put in place necessary facilities for the smooth running of the station.

The call was based on the motion moved by a member of the House, Bamidele Salam.

Moving the motion titled ‘Urgent need to reopen the railway station at Ede in Osun State,’ Salam described the railway station as “one of the first railway stations in Nigeria,” which was constructed alongside Agege, Ibadan station, Iwo, Osogbo, Offa and Ilorin stations, among others.

According to him, Ede is a major trading centre for cotton, palm produce, yam, cassava, okro and kola nuts in the southwestern part of Nigeria, as the inhabitants are predominantly farmers and traders.

He said being a major exportation point for agricultural products, a railway station was constructed in the town in 1906, with links to Lagos State and Nguru in the North.

He added that the railway station had facilitated trade, generated economic growth and ultimately created jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in Osun.

Salam said, “The House is concerned that despite the huge population and economic activities in Ede and its environs, the Ede Railway Station had been closed down for about one year, allegedly as a result of lack of sanitary facilities and inadequate electricity.

“The House is also concerned that the closure is negatively impacting the people of Ede and its environs, and causing revenue loss to the Nigerian Railway Corporation and Nigeria as a whole.

“The House is cognisant that the essence of reviving the railway system is to restore and expand economic activities in Nigeria, thus the closure of a viable railway station as the one in Ede may be inimical to the Federal Government’s plans to expand the economy through the standard gauge railway project.

“The House is worried that if nothing is done to reopen the Ede Railway Station, facilities worth several millions of naira, comprising the ticket office, platforms for loading and unloading, among others, would deteriorate, thus causing huge loss of revenue to the Federal Government.”

To this end, the House mandated its Committee on Land Transport to ensure compliance.

The Punch