The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the circumstances that led to the November 16, train crash in Lagos.
The House resolved to carry out the investigation to unravel the real cause of mishap and verify if the accident was as a result of human negligence or lack of provision of essential safety tools despite allocating billions to the railway sector.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Hon. Nurudeen Olaitan (APC, Lagos) and Hon Jimoh Olajide (APC, Lagos) during Tuesday plenary.
Leading the debate, Olaitan noted that the incidence of 16 November, 2017 when a train derailed at Pagba area of Ifako ljaye Federal constituency of Lagos State and rammed into a trailer on the railway line, causing multiple crashes among trucks and other vehicles which led to the death of seven persons.
He disclosed that when a train derails leading to an accident, a dangerous situation always occur owing to the size, weight and the speed of the rail car which makes it difficult to take any action to mitigate the damages as the safety features in vehicles cannot stand up to the force of a moving train.
The lawmaker stated further that accident involving trains and vehicles are caused by failure of vehicle drivers to abide by highway codes and absence of railway level crossing barriers given that most crossings are among the most eventful points on the transportation network.
He informed the House that as a result of the different braking systems of a train, the right of way is granted to the train because its braking distance (depending on its weight and speed) is several hundred times longer than that of a vehicle.
He informed further that some kind of alarm system arrangements are made to keep the road traffic flowing during the safe periods and suitable bell system is provided in order to prevent possible accidents.
Olaitan stated with dismay that most times safety measures are missing on the roads.
The leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos), observed that most railway accidents are unreported.
“There is only one citation in the motion raised, there are several unreported incidence. Hon Olaitan is aware because it happens in his constituency, with the research the mover of the motion has put into this issues, it shows that most of these accidents are tantamount to negligence,” Gbajabiamila said
The House also mandated the Committees on Police Affairs, Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values and Land Transport to interface with the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) on how to provide railway level crossing barriers, highway codes and alarm system arrangements at all railway level crossings across the Federation to curb incessant deaths at Railway Crossings.