The Association of Nigeria Railway Senior Citizens, ANRSC, has kicked against sell of their staff quarters to foreigners who pose as foreign investors in Nigeria.
The senior citizens whose quarters were monetised to them during their days in service, lamented that despite several efforts to perfect the monetization process, the Federal government has not been able to conclude it. They, therefore, appealed to President Mohammadu Buhari to direct the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, and the Management of Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, to stop the ongoing nationwide demolition of structures in the Railway compounds and find a lasting solution to the lingering Railway staff quarters’ monetisation issue. Addressing newsmen during a protest, Chairman of the Eastern District of the Association of Nigeria Railway Senior Citizens, Mr. Monday Nnona alleged that the NRC management through its agents trespassed into their quarters, beginning from Railway compound in Lagos, carved out parcels of lands and sold them to the so called investors as against the interest of Nigerian citizens. Nnona recalled that there was a subsisting judgement of the National Industrial court which had ordered the management to sell the quarters to the staff in accordance with the federal government’s monetization policy as implemented by other federal agencies since 2005.
Also speaking to newsmen in the same vain, the immediate past President General of Nigerian Railway Workers and former Chairman African Railway Union, Comrade Raphael Okoro said that despite the case still pending in Appeal court, they had served staff and retirees notice to remove the structures. Okoro said: “They have no right to come and remove any structure in the quarters because we are the judgement creditors and everything in the land is part of the land, the quarters allocated to us is inclusive of land and all the appurtenances, they cannot come and carve out some areas and sell.” The protesters were drawn from Port Harcourt, Aba, Umuahia and Enugu. One of the protesters who identified himself as Baba Bankole, said “If the NRC management is sincere, what are they doing in people’s private compounds.? Why are they interested in clearing the lands of judgement creditors?” The Nigerian Union of Railway Workers expressed disagreement with Chibuike Amaechi’s invitation of foreign investors to the Nigerian Railway Corporation with a view to taking up the expansive compounds without recourse and attempt on finding lasting solution to the staff quarter monetisation problem. ”This is clearly pre-emptive, subversive, and contemptuous of the Court of Appeal. We are disappointed in the attempt to subvert and undermine the integrity of the court of appeal by making such statement to the public,” said Comrade Segun Esan. He urged Amaechi to exercise restraint to the end of the full course of the case before the court of Appel and asked him to also desist from using other methods to achieve his objective over the staff quarter monetization struggle. “We shall not hesitate to challenge the Honorable Minister of Transportation using all means at our disposal within the ambits of labour conventions and relevant laws if he continues in this manner,” Esan stated. Vanguard checks revealed that the National Industrial Court in Lagos had on January 16 2016 delivered a judgment which gave Railway workers the right to possess the corporation’s staff quarters in accordance with the federal government’s Monetization policy. President of the court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, made the pronouncement in his judgment over a suit filed by the workers against the corporation on the acquisition of government landed property.