- Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo (left) and the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, at the event
By Anthony Nwachukwu
The Federal Government said it was restoring train services on the Abuja-Kaduna corridor this month after taking “deliberate steps” to ensure round the clock, all year round safety, security and surveillance.
Train services on the route were halted on March 28, 2022, following the terrorist attack in which some passengers were killed and more abducted.
In his presentation in Abuja on Monday during the second edition of the “PMB Administration Scorecard 2015-2023 Series” on agencies under his supervision, however, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, assured that the Abuja-Kaduna train service would resume this month.
“The Abuja-Kaduna mishap was a very sad one and by the grace of God, we shall not witness such again, not only because we have committed it to prayer, but deliberate steps have been taken, lessons have been learnt and these lessons would be put to use,” Sambo said.
“What are these lessons? Safety and security, surveillance, security 24/7, 7 days a week, 12 months a year, all round the clock.”
Speaking on the Nigerian Rail Modernisation Plan, the minister said the Warri-Itakpe rail line was not meant to terminate at Itakpe but Abuja, but that the concessionaire was discovered to lack the capacity only after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had facilitated approval.
He said the ministry was currently putting together a presentation to FEC on the execution of the corridor on the basis of “Engineering, Procurement, Construction plus Finance plan,” adding that under the railway modernisation plan, all state capitals across the country will be linked by railway.
According to him, other achievements include the completed Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge lines, Warri-Itakpe rail lines, with assembly plant at Kajola in Ogun State.