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Nigerian Railway Corporation’s passenger revenue declines in Q4 2023 amidst cargo growth- NBS

National Bureau of Statistics data reveals contrasting trends in passenger and cargo revenue for Nigerian railways, posing questions on the sector's performance

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The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) witnessed a nuanced financial landscape in the fourth quarter of 2023, with passenger revenue experiencing a notable dip while cargo earnings surged, according to the latest Rail Transportation Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in Abuja on Monday.

Amidst a backdrop of economic fluctuations, the NBS report disclosed that passenger revenue for Q4 2023 stood at N1.07 billion, marking a 7.51 per cent decrease from the N1.15 billion recorded in the same period in 2022.

Conversely, revenue from goods and cargoes witnessed a remarkable upswing, soaring by 169.16 per cent to N423.22 million compared to N157.23 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Additional income streams, categorized as “other receipts,” also saw a modest increase of 3.02 per cent, rising from N382.17 million in Q4 2022 to N393.72 million in Q4 2023.

Despite the revenue fluctuations, the NBS data revealed a significant decline in the number of rail transport passengers during Q4 2023, plummeting by 49.73 per cent to 672,198, a notable drop from the 1,337,108 passengers reported in the preceding period.

On an annual basis, the overall volume of rail transport passengers experienced a notable downturn, decreasing by 32.08 per cent from 3,212,948 in 2022 to 2,182,388 in 2023.

While passenger revenue faced a marginal decline of 2.64 per cent in 2023 compared to the previous year, cargo-related metrics showcased robust growth, with cargo volume surging by 102.04 per cent and revenue from cargo witnessing an impressive 144.32 per cent increase over the same period.

The contrasting trajectories in passenger and cargo revenue underscore the dynamic challenges facing Nigeria’s railway sector, raising pertinent questions about its adaptability and resilience amidst shifting economic paradigms.

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