By John Ikani
Repair work has been completed on the destroyed rail track on the Abuja to Kaduna railway corridor, which was bombed after suspected terrorists planted explosive on it on Wednesday.
Consequently the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced the resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna train service which was suspended after the rail the tracks between the Rijana-Dutse axis were bombed by terrorists.
In a statement posted to its ticketing platform, the NRC urged customers with unused tickets for the 21st and 22nd of October 2021 to contact the customer care unit for rescheduling.
It however asked the ticket holders to give the corporation 48 hours notice ahead of their new travel date.
“Dear esteemed customers, service has been restored on the Abuja-Kaduna service. Customers with unused tickets for the 21st and 22nd of October should kindly contact the customer care unit ([email protected] and 01 888 7741) for rescheduling.
“Kindly give 48hrs notice ahead of bew travel date. This offer is open for the next two weeks and will expire on the 6th of November 2021. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience,” the message reads.
Also speaking on the resumption of Abuja-Kaduna train service, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, assured the public of Federal Government’s commitment to ensure safety of passengers along the route.
”I think what is significant is that the repair was done by our own Nigerian engineers and completed in record time.
”By tomorrow we expect to run the first train. That is why I had to come here myself physically to be present here.
”We want to assure the public beyond the physical presence of police and deployment of the military along this track.
”I just told the MD to get us a rail bus that will be on patrol regularly on the track so that we can see what is going to happen even before the train takes off.
”That will be the measure we will put in place until we put a digital system in place. And it will be end to end from Abuja-Kaduna and it will be the same thing for Lagos-Ibadan,” he said.
Amaechi noted that the incident that happened would fasten the procurement process of the Digital Security System which the government planned to install on the track.
He said, ”It had gone to cabinet two weeks ago and it was returned, so we will re-present it to cabinet to ensure that we get approval, then we can install the digital security network.
”The essence of the digital security system is to enable us know when there is an impact on the rail. It has a sensor, when people walk across the rail we will be able to know.
”We will get the police to be involved so that they will be here before we install the security system,” he said.
On capacity of indigents, the minister expressed pleasure that the country had capable engineers who could fix the rail system.
”I am happy. What this has done is that It has shown that we actually have the capacity to fix our rail.
”The essence of this is to make sure that by the time you leave, we should start gradual process of constructing our own railway,”he said.