Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rift Valley Railways to improve performance by January 2009

The government has asked the Rift Valley Railways to restructure and improve its performance by January 2009 or risk loosing the confession of running the Uganda Railways that it acquired last year from the governments of Uganda.

This was revealed by the State Minister for Transport, Simon Ejua, while speaking about the failure by Rift Valley Railways to commence transportation of huge cargo from the Mombassa seaport to inland Uganda and neighboring countries.

He says the government has noted public concerns of RVR’s underperformance and asked the company to restructure by January or loose the concession.

The governments of Uganda gave a concession to RVV to run the Uganda Railways in order to revamp the ailing railways and ensure more dependable transport of import and export cargo from seaports to inland destinations and vice versa.

But more than a year after RVR got the concession, the company is yet to meet the requirements of revamping the railway lines and the locomotives to transport goods from Mombasa to inland destinations in Uganda.

Ejua says that RVR has dealt with issues of majority shareholder which were holding them back from undertaking some of the reforms, and the company is expected to have restructured for better performance before the end of the first month of 2009.

He says the government has asked RVR to build its capacity to handle the transportation of goods and to outsource required expertise to develop the railways sector.

RVR says they have so far repaired one locomotive and repaired the rails on the once heavily dilapidated railway line from Mombassa to Kasese. The company last week managed to transport in 5,000 liters of fuel for Uganda after four axle wheel vehicles that used to carry fuel from Mombassa to Uganda were banned.