|Transportation Minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi
Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Wednesday promised that
President Muhammadu Buhari would inaugurate the completed Abuja-Kaduna rail
line services next month.
minister who made the disclosure during the first official test-run of the rail
modernisation project which connects Abuja and Kaduna State, said the project
was ready and would commence full commercial operations once the president
said: “As for this rail transport, we are good to go. The reason why we are not
letting it start now is the fact that we have to consider the president’s
several engagement and religious obligation.
we are looking at the first week of July, because we are good to go. In two
weeks from now, they (contractors) will test-run the tracks without carrying
another two weeks, they will test-run it with passengers free of charge and
that will take us till the last week of June.
by first week of July, the president will come to flag it off for commercial
the flag off, anyone who boards must pay and that is why I told the director of
railway and the managing director of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), to
start ensuring that within this one month they should make sure that people who
are going to use the railway have a form of identification.”
minister explained that individuals without identification should not border
coming to board the trains, adding: “we will not let you in if we don’t know
worries me more is about the rural dwellers and what I think the Ministry of
Transportation should do is to work with the Nigerian Identity Management
that they can do all the registration in one or two weeks. This is to ensure
that we know who is boarding our train and where he lives for security
minister said the government was working on insurance packages for passengers
who board the facility, adding that about 1,000 police officers would provide
security for the rail service daily.
said: “Any ticket a passenger buys is covered with a premium insurance and the
coaches are going to be insured. We cannot start the process without resolving
they said they needed about 1,000 police officers from Idu, Abuja to Kaduna every
further stated that the government would commence the fencing of the rail
tracks once the fund for the project is released, stressing that this was also
part of the security measures put in place to protect the facility.