The Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Edetanlaen Okhiria has said the corporation is working to install anti-theft to safeguard railway equipment and check vandalism.
He also commended security agencies, particularly the police for living up to expectations by arresting suspected vandals tampering with the cooperation’s installation as effort to improve on the country’s rail system by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration continues to be on the front burner.
Speaking during inspection of railway projects in Lagos, the Managing Director also noted that there will be no direct crossing as the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has instructed that the rails will either be underpass or overpass because it is Federal Government’s policy on rail and road crossing.
On vandalism of the rail equipment, he said: “We have had some respite in the last two weeks and the Police have also lived up to their responsibility by ensuring that they pick those that are involved and charge them to court immediately.
“Once they charge to court, it depends on the judge who sometimes detain them for two months or more and I think their colleagues are hearing it and that is why they have reduced.
“Also anti-theft device will also be installed and those are part of the additional works. When the work started, we had to talk to the contractors to realise that Nigeria is not China and our culture is not the same. We have to look inward to limit the vandalization and we jointly designed an idea to have anti-theft because they don’t have that in China but we had to localise that”, he said.
Engr. Okhiria was born in Iruekpen Ekpoma, Edo State. He attended Ujeolen Primary School from 1967 to 1972 and Ujeolen Grammar School from 1973 to 1977 both in Ekpoma, Edo State. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc Electrical Engineering) from University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. He served his National Youth Service (NYSC) programme with National Electrical Power Authority (Now PHCN) from 1985 – 1986.
Okhiria began his engineering career right when he served as Youth Corps with NEPA between 1985 and 1986.
He worked as Electrical Engineer in Nigerian Institute of Instrument Engineering between 1986 and1987, in March 1987, Engr. Okhiria joined the service of Nigerian Railway Corporation as pupil Engineer and rose to the present position as Director, Mechanical/Electrical/Signal and Telecommunication. From 1992 to 1996, he was District Mechanical/Electrical Engineer, Chief mechanical/Electrical Engineer (Running) from 1996 to 1999, Railway District Manager (Northern), Assistant Director (C&W) from 1999 to 2001, Manager, Romania Project (2001 – 2003) and District Manager (LD) from 2003 to June 2006. He is widely travelled.
He became the Director, Mechanical/Electrical from June 2006 to June 2011. Since June 2011 till today, Engr. Freeborn Edetanlen Okhiria is the Director, Mechanical/Electrical/Signal and Telecommunication.
Engr. Okhiria is a Fellow of Nigerian Institute of Mechanical Engineering (NIME), Chartered Member, Institute of Logistics and Transport (CMILT), Member, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Member, Institute of Director (IOD), Member, Institute of Strategic Management (ISM) and Member, Nigerian Institute of Management (NMIM). His hobbies are squash and badminton playing and meeting friends. He is widely travelled.
He is married with three children and very God fearing.